taken into consideration in fixing the contingent which Massachusetts
was to furnish for the military arm of the service; an injustice which bore with crushing weight upon the fishing and maritime towns and cities of the Commonwealth
, and which was not removed until 1864, when Congress passed an act allowing credits for men serving in the navy.
The regiments sent from Massachusetts
to the Department of the Gulf were intended as an expeditionary corps, to invade and hold Texas
The purpose of the expedition was kept a profound secret; and neither the officers nor the enlisted men of the regiments, nor the public, were advised of it. This was one of the well-kept secrets of the war; and, although the expedition failed of its object, the fault, if one, did not attach to Massachusetts
, nor to the splendid array of troops which she furnished for it. A portion of the Forty-second Regiment reached Galveston
, and has the honor of being the first detachment of the loyal army that landed in that far-off State.
They were attacked by overwhelming numbers.
The war vessels in the harbor, which were to co-operate with them, were beaten off or captured by the rebels; and the detachment of the Forty-second, after fighting gallantly, was obliged to surrender.
detailed Major William L. Burt
, of his staff, to accompany the expedition.
He was to look out for the welfare of the troops, and report from time to time the exact condition of affairs.
On reaching New Orleans, he was to report to General Hamilton
, who had been appointed by the President military Governor
The Governor, in his written instructions to Major Burt
In selecting you for this position, I have in mind your experience, tact, and energy as a man of business as well as of education.
It being my desire, since so many Massachusetts soldiers are bound to a very remote field of military service, that some staff officer of ample capacity, zeal, and position should represent the Commonwealth in her rightful relation of a careful guardian and watchful parent towards these brave and precious sons, I have been accustomed to detail gentlemen of my staff for occasional duties of this description in Virginia and elsewhere, not too far from home.
In this instance, the number of our troops, and their remoteness from home, justifies a more permanent arrangement.