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[27] had reached their destination, and not till then, ‘their operations were seriously interrupted by a soaking shower.’1 Thus curiously exaggerated and distorted, in those days, was every step of our novel military experience.

The troops which accompanied General Butler on this expedition were the 6th Mass. V. M., Colonel Jones (five hundred), the 8th N. Y. Infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel Waterbury (four hundred and fifty), and a section of Cook's Battery, under Major Cook. No lives were lost or even endangered; yet at that period of inexperience it seemed an important military movement, and it doubtless did much to confirm that sway of the more loyal elements in Baltimore, which soon became unquestionable. But it also contributed to that rather impulsive and undisciplined way of action, on the part of energetic officers, which cost so many lives before it had given place to military discipline.


Vii. The three years regiments.

The three months levy was now in the field. But those who already saw that a long and difficult war was upon us—nobody yet deemed how formidable—felt the absolute necessity of longer enlistments. On May 3 Governor Andrew wrote to President Lincoln: ‘I beg leave to add that immediately on receiving your proclamation we took up the war and have carried on our part of it in the spirit in which we believe the administration and the American people intend to act; namely, as if there were not an inch of red tape in the world. We have now enough additional men to furnish you with six more regiments to serve for the war, unless sooner discharged.’2 This meant a three years enlistment,—a term which covered all the time that any one then deemed necessary.3 On May 3, 1861, the President called for thirty-nine regiments of infantry and one of cavalry, to serve for three years or during the war; but it was not until May 19 that the quota of Massachusetts was assigned. Companies were meanwhile

1 Baltimore Clipper, May 14, 1861, in Putnam's Records, I (Diary), 69. The historian of the 6th Regiment, Rev. J. W. Hanson, says nothing of any storm encountered on arriving at the city, but says that there was a violent thunder shower after the arrival at Federal Hill, and while the troops were raising their flag (p. 61).

2 See the whole letter in Schouler, I, 130.

3 Captain Richardson of Cambridge, however, in recruiting his pioneer company, had named five years as the term of enlistment,—a piece of foresight then almost unexampled. See, ante, p. 9.

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