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[440] was altogether to blame; but the wrong done could have been righted by Congress fixing a brevet rank, which would have carried command and pay with it, and not have permitted officers of the skill and bravery of Martin, McCartney, Nims, and others we could name, to serve in positions which properly belonged to brigadier-generals, and to perform the duties of those positions with pre-eminent merit, while only holding in reality the commissions of captains, and allowed only the pay and allowances of captains. It is true that these gentlemen were named in official bulletins in words of praise for ‘gallant and efficient services in the field,’ and, at the end of the war, they were brevetted brigadier-generals; but something more was due the officers and men of the light batteries of Massachusetts.

The preceding pages of this chapter give a faint idea of some of the many questions which engaged the attention of the State authorities during the first six months of 1863. Other matters, however, of the highest importance to the unity of the nation and to the good of the Commonwealth, were in the mean time maturing, which culminated, in the early days of July, with the battle of Gettysburg, the fall of Vicksburg, and the capture of Port Hudson, which shook the rebel Confederacy from ‘turret to foundation-stone;’ the glory of which achievements was for a moment eclipsed by the draft riots in New York and Boston. Of these we shall briefly speak in the succeeding chapter.

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