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[407] of the men-of-war at Charlestown sent to Provincetown. The letter has this indorsement:—

The within copy of a letter I have received from George Winslow, Esq., a respectable and intelligent merchant of this city. I respectfully refer it to the Secretary of the Navy in connection with the telegram I have addressed to the Navy Department to-day.

The Governor had telegraphed, on the receipt of Mr. Winslow's letter, to have a war-vessel sent to Provincetown. It may be regarded as one of the coincidences of the war, that the information in the above letter should have been conveyed to the Governor by Mr. Winslow, and that the ‘Alabama’ should have been sunk by Commodore Winslow, months afterwards, in the harbor of Cherbourg, France.

Authority was received from the Secretary of War, by an order dated Jan. 26, to recruit a colored regiment in Massachusetts. The first authority given by the Governor to any person to recruit colored men in Massachusetts, was dated Feb. 7; and the regiment; was filled to the maximum May 14, in less than one hundred days. Before its organization was completed, there being so many colored men anxious to enlist, it was decided to raise another regiment, which was rapidly filled. These two colored regiments were designated the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth. An almost impenetrable wall of prejudice had been reared against the employment of colored men in the military service. The Adjutant-General of Massachusetts, in his report for 1863, said,—

It required calm foresight, thorough knowledge of our condition, earnest conviction, faith in men, faith in the cause, and undaunted courage, to stem the various currents which set in and flooded the land against employing the black man as a soldier. In the Executive of Massachusetts was found a man who possessed the qualifications necessary to stem these currents, and to wisely inaugurate, and peacefully carry out to a successful termination, the experiment of recruiting regiments of colored men.

Although the act of Congress authorizing the formation of colored regiments did not prohibit the commissioning of colored officers, the order of the Secretary of War did. On the third day of February, the Governor telegraphed to Secretary

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