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[8] of Selectmen, Clerks, and Treasurers of our towns, during the years of the war, should have due prominence in a work like this; for upon them in a great degree rested the heavy responsibilities under which each municipality was placed during the whole war, in filling its contingents of men, and appropriating money for bounties and other military purposes. This will make the record of the officers employed in the civil service of the State correspond in a degree with the rolls of the various regiments and companies, which give the names of the officers and men employed in the military service of the nation, and which are preserved at the State House and the War Department.

The best and only way by which to show what was done by the cities and towns, and to make manifest the patriotic spirit of the people, was by obtaining a transcript of the votes and resolutions passed by each, which had a bearing upon the Rebellion and its origin, and the means best calculated to suppress it and preserve the Union. To obtain this information, we have labored long, but nevertheless with complete success; for which our warmest thanks are due to the city and town officers, and to others who have felt an interest in the object we sought to attain. We have succeeded in obtaining returns, and in nearly every instance very full returns, of the votes and resolutions which were passed in each place; also the names of the city and town officers of each during the period of the war. The labor required to gather in this vast amount of war record; of arranging, with a view to publication, these manuscripts; and of compressing into a limited space an intelligent narrative of what was done by each of the three hundred and forty separate municipalities during the four years of the war,—has been very great, and we hope it has been done with judgment and accuracy. From the beginning to the end of the work, the great difficulty we had to encounter, and, if possible, to overcome, was, how properly to accomplish the purpose we had in view,—to embody every matter of interest or importance, showing the spirit and purpose of our people, within our limited space. To do this we were forced of necessity to abstract and condense much which we otherwise would have gladly given in full. Nevertheless, we believe we have not only preserved the spirit,

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