personal responsibility in regard to it, so far as the Massachusetts regiments were concerned.
He first protested against it to the Secretary of War; but, strange to say, Stanton obtained a legal opinion in justification of his order from William Whiting, the solicitor of the War Department. Governor Andrew then appealed to President Lincoln, who referred the case to Attorney-General Bates, and Bates, after examining the question, reported adversely to Solicitor Whiting and notified PresidenSolicitor Whiting and notified President Lincoln that the Government would be liable to an action for damages.
The President accordingly referred this report to Stanton, who paid no attention whatever to it.
Meanwhile the Massachusetts Legislature had passed an act to make good the deficiency of five dollars a month to the Massachusetts colored regiments, but the private soldiers, with a magnanimity that should never be forgotten, refused to accept from the State what they considered due them from the National Government.