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[434] think, wisely or unwisely, of the state of affairs, and not of much else. The whole population, men, women, and children, seem to be in the streets with Union favors and flags; walking about uneasily, because their anxiety and nervous excitement will not permit them to stay at home, where all ordinary occupation has become unsavory. Public meetings are held everywhere, in the small towns and villages as much as in the cities; considerable sums of money are voted to sustain the movement and take care of the families of those who are mustered into service; and still larger sums are given by individuals. Nobody holds back. Civil war is freely accepted everywhere; by some with alacrity, as the only means of settling a controversy based on long-cherished hatreds; by others as something sent as a judgment from Heaven, like a flood or an earthquake; by all as inevitable, by all as the least of the evils among which we are permitted to choose, anarchy being the obvious, and perhaps the only alternative.

Here in Boston the people are constantly gathering about the State House—which you know is in front of my windows—and about Faneuil all, where the troops chiefly assemble or halt on their way through town. When soldiers march by there is grave shouting; nothing like the common cheering. There is an earnestness such as I never witnessed before in any popular movement.

To Sir Edmund Head.

Boston, April 28, 1861.
It [the last letter] was written just a week ago, and contained my first impressions about our outbreak at the North. Its character— that of the outbreak—remains the same; much enthusiasm, much deep earnestness. Men and money are profusely offered; the best blood among us volunteering and going, and money untold following them. Of course, more or less of both will be wasted; but it is of consequence that the resolute courage and devotion should be sustained, and they are not likely to cost too much. We have been slow to kindle; but we have made a Nebuchadnezzar's furnace of it at last, and the heat will remain, and the embers will smoulder, long after the flames that now light up everything shall cease to be seen or felt.

The solid men of Boston are just organizing a State movement to collect funds, which shall be systematically applied when the resources of this first enthusiasm begin to fail. . . . . Thus far it has been, on our part, a sort of crusade. But the regular armies will soon be ready to follow.

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