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[411]

While our Forty-eighth Regiment was in the Department of the Gulf, Captain Sherman, of Company F, wrote to the Governor respecting certain officers in that department, whose sympathies, if judged by their language, were on the side of the rebels. On the fourth day of March, the Governor wrote to Captain Sherman thanking him for his letter, and said,—

I well understand the cry of every honest soldier, and his scorn and disgust at the insidious croakers, in the midst of the army, who fight feebly with their hands, while they sow dissension with their mouths; hireling parasites, feverish for the ruin of the country which pays them, and insolent in a seemingly temporary success. By and by, like the venomous reptile so appropriately the symbol of the most bitter and treasonable secession State, they will bite themselves in baffled rage, and die with their own poison. . . . I have repeatedly appointed men with conservative antecedents (for I ask no question of party in military appointments), but who, being men of honest hearts and earnest minds, exercised upon the ideas involved in a great crisis, have emancipated themselves from all bondage of old beliefs and prejudices, and have cast off the old garments which the whole age is laboring to throw aside. Others, again, I have appointed of Republican principles, only to find them yield feebly at first trial, unworthy of the free principles and free soil which nurtured them. I believe, however, that, among Massachusetts officers, such views and remarks as you have described gain little hold, and that those holding them are in an insignificant minority.

On the tenth day of March, the Governor wrote to General Hamilton, of Texas, then at Washington, expressing his regrets that unavoidable public duties would prevent his meeting him at Washington, that he might stand by him in his earnest efforts to save Texas.

‘I would do so,’ he says, ‘if it was only for the satisfaction of trying, and, if you fail, of failing with you. I pray you to give my hearty and sympathetic regards to Governor Johnson, of Tennessee, and assure him of the interest with which we of Massachusetts watch for the welfare of his Union friends, and for his own personal success in his noble career.’

Major Burt visited Washington on his return from Texas, at the request of the Governor, who gave him a letter to Secretary Stanton, dated Feb. 3, in which he urges at considerable

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