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Chapter 10:

  • The military camps in Massachusetts-number of troops Jan. 1, 1864
  • -- where serving -- letter of Governor to Lewis Hayden -- from Miss Upham -- soldier's scrap-book -- letter to Samuel Hooper -- sale of Heavy Ordnance -- the condition of our defences -- Colonel Ritchie in England -- meeting of the Legislature -- organization -- addresses of Mr. Field andColonel Bullock -- address of the Governor -- eloquent extract -- Abstractof military laws -- members of Congress -- letter to John B. Alley -- Thespringfield companies -- Secretary Stanton refuses to pay them bounties -- correspondence in regard to it -- letters from General Butler -- Governor toMiss Upham -- complaints about soldiers at Long Island -- re-enlistedVeterans -- order of War Department -- returns of veteran regiments -- their reception -- letter to General Hancock -- General Burnside reviewsthe troops at Readville -- letter to the Christian Watchman -- General Andrews -- Surgeon-General Dale -- Confederate money -- letter from Generalgordon -- battle of Olustee -- letter to selectmen of Plymouth -- a Secondvolume of scrap-book -- letter from Mr. Lovejoy -- Lieutenant-Colonelwhittemore -- correspondence -- the Heavy Artillery -- condition of Fortwarren -- misunderstanding -- Secretary Stanton and the Governor -- Colonelwilliam F. Bartlett -- his promotion -- earnest letter to Mr. Sumner -- Troubles about recruiting -- complaints made -- a Convention held -- Letterof the Adjutant-General -- the recruiting of New regiments -- Forwardedto the front -- the advance of General Grant.

On the 1st of January, 1864, there were three camps of rendezvous for enlisted men in the Commonwealth,—one at Long Island, in Boston Harbor, under command of Brigadier-General Devens, to which drafted men were sent; ‘Camp Meigs,’ at Readville, commanded by Brigadier-General R. H. Peirce, to which recruits for old regiments were sent; ‘Camp Wool,’ at Worcester, in charge of Colonel William F. Bartlett, Fifty-seventh Regiment, was specially used for recruiting and organizing that regiment. The number of men at each of these camps was as follows: Long Island, 1,086; ‘Camp Meigs,’ 2,270 ; ‘Camp Wool,’ 300,—total, 3,656.

The seventeen nine months regiments had returned home; and Massachusetts had at this time, in the service of the [508] United States, thirty-six regiments of infantry, three regiments of cavalry, two regiments of heavy artillery, one battalion and eight unattached companies of heavy artillery, twelve batteries of light artillery, and two companies of sharpshooters. All of these were for three years service, and were distributed as follows:—

The First, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Eighteenth, Nineteenth, Twentieth, Twenty-second, Twenty-eighth, Thirty-second, Thirty-seventh, Thirty-ninth Regiments of Infantry, First Regiment of Cavalry, the Third, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth Light Batteries, First and Second Companies of Sharpshooters, were in the Army of the Potomac.

The Second, Twenty-first, Twenty-ninth, Thirty-third, Thirty-fifth, and Thirty-sixth Regiments of Infantry were in the Department of the Ohio.

The Seventeenth, Twenty-third, Twenty-fifth, Twenty-seventh Regiments of Infantry, and the Second Regiment of Heavy Artillery, were in the Department of Virginia and North Carolina.

The Twenty-fourth, Fortieth, Fifty-fourth, Fifty-fifth Regiments of Infantry, and First Battalion of Cavalry, were in the Department of the South.

The Twenty-sixth, Thirtieth, Thirty-first, Thirty-eighth Regiments of Infantry, and the Third Regiment of Cavalry, and the Second, Fourth, Sixth, Twelfth, Thirteenth, and Fifteenth Companies of Light Artillery, were in the Department of the Gulf.

The Thirty-fourth Regiment of Infantry, Second Regiment of Cavalry, First Regiment of Heavy Artillery, and the Seventh Company of Light Artillery, were in the Department of Washington.

The First Battalion, and the Third, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Unattached Companies of Heavy Artillery, were in the Coast Defences of Massachusetts.

Shortly after this date, the Third Battalion of the First Regiment of Cavalry was permanently detached from that regiment, [509] and a new battalion was recruited in the State, attached to it, and made the Fourth Regiment Massachusetts Cavalry.

The Fourteenth Regiment of Infantry was changed in 1862 to heavy artillery.

The Forty-first Regiment of Infantry, in the Department of the Gulf, was changed from infantry to cavalry; and the three unattached companies of cavalry, in that Department, was consolidated with it, and the organization was afterwards known and designated as the Third Regiment Massachusetts Cavalry.

Lewis Hayden, formerly a slave in Kentucky, but who had been for many years employed in the office of the Secretary of State, entered warmly into the business of recruiting colored soldiers for Massachusetts, and visited Pennsylvania and other States to advance that interest. In a letter directed to him when in Pennsylvania, the Governor said,—

I do not favor recruiting for Massachusetts in that State, and I do not wish to be understood to favor it. But if, by work in Pennsylvania, you can help those fleeing from slavery through that State to reach Massachusetts, where they will be received into all the rights and advantages of our own citizens, I shall be glad. I do not want either to speculate out of the blood or courage of colored men; but I rejoice in having been instrumental in giving them a chance to vindicate their manhood, and to strike a telling blow for their own race, and the freedom of all their posterity. Every race has fought for liberty, and its own progress. The colored race will create its own future, by its own brain, hearts, and hands. If Southern slavery should fall by the crushing of the Rebellion, and colored men have no hand, and play no conspicuous part, in the task, the result would leave the colored man a mere helot; the freedmen a poor, despised, subordinated body of human beings, neither strangers nor citizens, but “contrabands,” who had lost their masters, but not found a country. All the prejudices, jealousies, and political wishes, of narrow, ignorant men and demagogues would have full force, and the black man would be the helpless victim of a policy which would give him no peace short of his own banishment. The day that made a colored man a soldier of the Union, made him a power in the land. It admitted him to all the future of glory, and to all the advantages of honorable fame, which pertained to men who belonged to the category of heroes. No one can ever deny the rights of citizenship in a country to those who have helped to create it or to save it.


On the 1st of January, the Governor received the following letter from Miss Philena M. Upham, of Leicester, Massachusetts:—

When I was in Queen-street Hospital, Alexandria, with my young nephew, who was wounded at the battle of Cedar Mountain, and who has since died of his wounds, a suffering soldier in one of the hospitals there remarked, “ If I only had such a scrap-book as my sister used to make, wouldn't I enjoy it?” The wish was renewed by others. I stored their desires in a cell of my brain to be brought forth for future use. The last eleven weeks, I have assiduously devoted every moment of time I could spare from housekeeping duties in filling an old ledger of my father's with quotations to win some wounded soldier's smile. Now, sir, if you think the book will achieve the purpose intended, I would ask you, as one of the soldiers' most faithful friends, to bestow it as a free — will offering upon the hospital where, in your judgment, it may be a drop in the bucket towards stealing the minds of the wounded from their long days of anguish and nights of pain.

This letter the Governor forwarded the next day to Senator Sumner, with a request that he would present the book to Miss Anna Lowell, ‘for the use of the patriots of the Amory-square Hospital.’

‘I am sure,’ he said, ‘that you will be interested, as a philanthropist, in this labor of love for the soldiers, and, as a man of letters, in the very unique book which is the result of this excellent lady's industrious zeal.’

On the 5th of January, the Governor wrote to Samuel Hooper, member of Congress from this State, that he had been informed that the chief of the Ordnance Bureau at Washington had told him that it would assume the guns purchased or contracted for by Mr. Forbes and Lieutenant-Colonel Ritchie on account of Massachusetts, and would pass them through the Custom House, as if imported for account of the United States, but on condition that the guns correspond with the United-States army calibres:—

‘Now,’ said the Governor, ‘the fact must be well known to any ordnance officer of common intelligence, that the English army calibres and ours do not correspond. The Blakely ordnance and Lowinoor [511] sixty-four-pounder guns cannot be strangers to the reading of our officers. But the Government of Massachusetts was aware, one year and more ago, that the United States had not, and, as it then stood, could not possibly procure by any means either resorted to or contemplated by it, more than two-sevenths of the armament for its coast and harbor defences which, in the event of a foreign war, it confessedly needed. I have the authoritative statistics in proof. Stern necessity drove us to look out for our own principal city at least. We took no step until consulting the President, Secretary of War, Secretary of the Navy, General Totten, General Ripley, and General Meigs; and we moved with their approbation. The ordnance officers of the army and of the navy have each their pet guns. They oppose each other's guns, and every thing else but the Rodman gun and the Dahlgren gun, though they have had to submit to the Parrott gun. Now, uniformity of calibre is convenient, because it prevents the necessity of varieties of ammunition. But it is more convenient to repel invaders, even if you are obliged to use two kinds of shot and shell to do it with, than it is to be destroyed or captured by an armed fleet, notwithstanding the pleasure it might give the Ordnance Bureau to use but one kind of ammunition.’

The Governor illustrated these points at considerable length, and closed with this paragraph:—

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