adopted by the towns, are indeed quite remarkable in these respects, but not more so than the good sense and ardent patriotism which marked their course in support of the Government
In most of the towns, town-meetings were held as soon as legal notice could be given, to take measures to organize new military companies, and to provide the members with proper uniforms and outfits, and, in the event of their being called into active service, to make suitable provision for the comfortable maintenance of their families.
In many places, votes were passed to pay the men a per diem for every day or half-day spent in drilling, previous to being mustered into active military service, and to make considerable additions to the monthly pay allowed by Government.
For these and similar purposes liberal appropriations were made, and, when necessary, the selectmen or town treasurers were authorized to borrow whatever sums of money there might be required to carry the votes into practical effect.
In some cases, committees were appointed to assist the selectmen in recruiting volunteers and in distributing assistance to the soldiers' families; but in every town the weight of the duties was made to rest on the shoulders of the regular town officers, who, at stated periods, reported their doings to the citizens in ‘town-meeting assembled,’ and were by them approved.
And although these officers received and paid for war purposes and for State aid, during the war, upwards of twenty-two millions of dollars, we do not find, in an examination of the records of every town, that in a single instance was there a dollar misapplied, or a suspicion ever entertained that any portion of the vast sums appropriated had been withheld or expended in a corrupt or improper manner by any of the town or city officers.
The reader will be impressed, in looking over the proceedings of these town-meetings, with the good sense and decorum which everywhere appears in them; of the care taken to do nothing that was not legal, nothing that the town had not a lawful right to do; and in several instances, where doubts were entertained or expressed concerning some particular vote or appropriation, the selectmen, before proceeding to execute it, were directed to consult counsel, whether the vote was legal and