but also the substance, of all that was done.
Throughout these entire records, the Union
sentiment of the Commonwealth
is made to appear in its entirety, and with reinvigorating strength.
Nowhere does there seem to have been an opposite spirit or a different sentiment expressed or entertained; not even in the darkest hours, when the Union
cause looked the least hopeful.
We may therefore affirm, with the strictest truth, that if ever there were a people of one mind in a cause, for the support of which they were ready to pledge life, liberty, and property, the people of Massachusetts
were, during the whole of the Rebellion
We have read with care, and for a purpose, every vote and every resolve acted upon or passed at every town meeting held during the war in Massachusetts
; and on no occasion and nowhere does there appear to have been aught but entire unanimity on the part of the people to support with all their power the Government
in its determination to put down the Rebellion
and maintain the Union
This may not be a remarkable, but it is certainly a gratifying, fact.
It is honorable to our people, and adds a new glory to the historic renown of the Commonwealth
The outbreak of war, and the sudden call for troops to defend the national capitol, although not unexpected by Governor Andrew
and his military staff, were nevertheless a very great surprise to the people of the Commonwealth
, especially to those living in districts remote from Boston
For nearly fifty years they had lived in peace, and knew practically nothing of the waste of life and of treasure which a great war entails upon a community engaged in it. In more than nine-tenths of the towns no military organizations had existed for at least thirty years; and, at the time of the first call for troops, the whole available military force of the Commonwealth
was less than six thousand men, and those were chiefly in the large cities and towns on the seaboard counties.
The volunteer, organized militia, in the great central county of Worcester
, and the four western counties of Hampden
, and Berkshire
, did not exceed one thousand men; and in the counties of Barnstable
, and Dukes
, there was not a solitary company or a military organization of any description.
At the commencement of the war, no one, however wise, was