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[395] had authorized. Of this battalion, DeWitt C. Thompson, formerly of Major-General Halleck's staff, was appointed major. No better officers or men than these volunteers from California served in the Union army. Many of them were killed in battle, and never returned again to the shores of the Pacific; among whom was the first captain, J. Sewall Reed, who was killed in action Feb. 22, 1864.

The Legislature for 1863 met at the State House on Wednesday, Jan. 7. Jonathan E. Field, of Berkshire County, was elected President of the Senate, having received all the votes but four, which were cast for Peter Harvey, of Suffolk.

On taking the chair, Mr. Field made a short address, the only part of which relating to national affairs was the following reference to the Proclamation of Freedom issued by the President, which went into effect on the first of January. Mr. Field said,—

The year was inaugurated by an event claimed by its friends to be second in importance only to that which relieved us from colonial dependence. Whatever may be its influences upon the war and upon the disloyal States, the loyal are made truly free. In this, as in every other measure intended to suppress the Rebellion, and uproot its causes, Massachusetts will yield to the Government no qualified support. In the complete performance of her whole duty to the Union, she will neither falter nor fail.

Stephen N. Gifford, of Duxbury, was re-elected clerk, having received every vote.

The House organized by the choice of Alexander H. Bullock, of Worcester, for Speaker, who received every vote but three, which were cast for Caleb Cushing, of Newburyport.

Mr. Bullock spoke at considerable length. In the course of his speech,> he was eloquent in his praise of the services of Massachusetts soldiers in the war. He said,—

They have fought, many have fallen, under McClellan and Burnside, both dear to them; under Butler and Banks, both soldiers of Massachusetts, bringing laurels to her brow. They have stood, and they have fallen, wheresoever and under whomsoever it has pleased the Government to appoint their lot.

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