articles of daily family use also increased in price in nearly a corresponding degree; and between the demand for labor and the demand for volunteers there was a direct and active competition.
Skilled workmen, by remaining at home, could earn, on an average, from four to five dollars a day. Unskilled labor also received large wages.
The pay of an enlisted man in the army was at the most sixteen dollars a month, exclusive of clothing money and rations.
The demands of patriotism were urgent; so were the demands of their families for support.
As a means of equalizing these demands, bounties were paid to the volunteers, and State aid to their families.
Both were just; and they procured the men required, without resorting, except with a very few and unimportant exceptions, to a draft.
Of the 159,165 men which Massachusetts
furnished for the war, less than twelve hundred were drafted men.
The duties which the war imposed upon the city and town officers were incessant and arduous.
To them, in a primary degree, belongs the honor of having recruited the different contingents of men called for by the President
; and, in thus discharging their obligations, they did incalculable service to the Commonwealth
and to the cause.
It is proper, therefore, that their names should appear, with well-considered prominence, in a history of Massachusetts
in the civil war, that they may go down to posterity as gentlemen who acted a difficult and honorable part in preserving the life of the nation when assailed by bitter and defiant enemies.
In all they did, they acted in harmony with Governor Andrew
and the State
authorities, and were nobly sustained by their several constituencies in the liberal supply of means by which to accomplish their patriotic purposes.
Whatever of money or material aid they required was freely given.
Money was voted almost without limit, both for the payment of bounties, and the comfortable support of the families of enlisted men, which were well cared for during the whole war, not only by the towns in their corporate capacities, but by voluntary contributions liberally made by the citizens.
There may have been, and doubtless were, many cases of suffering and hardship among the soldiers' families: when was it otherwise in a State engaged in a great war?
All we mean to