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[424] point of attack would be Portland, the second Boston, and the third Newport, so far as the Northern States were concerned, and he should be glad if the Governors of the New-England States were informed of the danger which threatened them. The letter contained much information which was of interest at the time, and would have been invaluable in case of a war between the two nations. The letter which Mr. Winthrop forwarded to the Governor was a copy of one the consul had written to Mr. Seward, Secretary of State.

On the 28th of May, an order was passed by the Executive Council that the sum of $250,000 of the million appropriation for coast defences be set apart for the procurement, for the defence of the coast of Massachusetts, of as many Blakely and Whitworth guns, or others of similar capacity and quality, as could be obtained during the next four months, and that an agent be appointed to visit Europe to purchase them.

The Governor requested Colonel Ritchie, of his personal staff, to accept the appointment of agent; but private business engagements would not permit of it at that time. Some contracts were made by Mr. Forbes in London. Colonel Ritchie, having arranged his business, accepted the appointment in August, and early in September sailed for England to purchase ordnance. His experience abroad, and the success of his mission, forms one of the most interesting episodes in the war history of Massachusetts, as we shall show hereafter, and for the present pass to other matters.

In the preceding pages, we have brought the correspondence of the Governor down to July 1, 1863. Not that we have given any thing approaching a full record of it: that would be impossible in a publication like this. We have given only those relating to matters of general interest, which we have abridged from seven volumes, each containing upwards of four hundred letters, and which relate to every conceivable subject connected with the war, and the civil policy of the State. In the Adjutant-General's office, an equal number were written, of which we can refer only to a few, to illustrate some of the difficulties against which the State officers had to contend.

On the 12th of January, the Adjutant-General, by direction

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