there was no opposition, except among a portion of the rabble in some of our large cities, who made the possibility of a draft the pretext for riotous demonstrations, which for a few hours only in the city of Boston
assumed a serious aspect, when it was crushed and scattered by the firmness of Governor Andrew
and the military and civil authorities of the cities and State.
The only effect of these disturbing and disloyal elements, which were confined to the most brutal, ignorant, and dangerous classes, always to be found in large places, was to encourage enlistments, and add strength to the Union
Before the close of the year the number of men asked for by the President
on each call had been enlisted, enrolled, assigned, and sent forward to the front.
Previous to the President
's calls of July and August, 1862, no fixed district or town system for recruiting men for the military service had been formed by either the Commonwealth
or by the General Government
, and no system of local credits had been arranged, by which we could tell how many men had entered the service from any particular city or town.
True, the names of the men in the service were upon the muster-rolls of each company and regiment, and copies of them were in the offices of the Adjutant-General
of the State
, and the Adjutant-General
of the Army at Washington
; but these rolls did not clearly indicate to which town, city, or precinct a soldier belonged.
As the war progressed and increased in magnitude, it became important, especially when a daft was impending, to ascertain accurately the number, and if possible the names, of the volunteers which each place had furnished; as it was understood that if a draft should take place the men already furnished were to be taken into consideration, and allowances made.
Accordingly, soon after the receipt of the President
's calls of July and August, a general order
was issued by the AdjutantGen-eral of the Commonwealth
, with the approval of Governor Andrew
, requesting the Mayor
of each city, and the Selectmen
of each town, to make a sworn return within a specified time of the men belonging to the place who had entered the military service, giving, as far as in their power, the name of the person, and the company and regiment to which he belonged.