same regiment were of necessity uniformed alike.
It is only a few years since uniformity of dress has been required of the militia in Massachusetts
But to return to that memorable 15th of April.
War, that much talked-of, much dreaded calamity was at last upon us. Could it really be so?
We would not believe it; and yet daily happenings forced the unwelcome conclusion upon us. It seemed so strange.
We had nothing in our experience to compare it with.
True, some of us had dim remembrances of a Mexican war in our early childhood, but as Massachusetts
sent only one regiment to that war, and that saw no fighting, and, besides, did not receive the sympathy and support of the people in the State
generally, we only remembered that there was a Scott, and a Taylor, and a Santa Ana, from the colored prints we had seen displayed of these worthies; so that we could only run back in memory to the stories and traditions of the wars of the Revolution and 1812, in which our ancestry had served, for anything like a vivid picture of what was about to occur, and this, of course, was utterly inadequate to do the subject justice.
I have already stated that General Order No. 4
carried dismay into many hearts, causing the more timid to withdraw from military service at once.
A great many more would have withdrawn at the same time had they not been restrained by pride and the lingering hope that there would be no war after all; but this very day (the 15th) came Special Order No. 14
, from Governor Andrew
, ordering the Third, Fourth, Sixth, and Eighth Regiments to assemble on Boston Common forthwith.
This was the final test of the militiamen's actual courage and thirst for glory, and a severe one it proved to many of them, for at this eleventh hour there was another falling-out along the line.
But the moment a man's declination for further service was made known, unless his reasons were of the very best, straightway he was hooted at for his cowardice, and for a time his