War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0655 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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were not competent, I informed him I preferred to have nothing to do with it. I then began recruiting a regiment for myself, but was informed by Governor Andrew, in substance, that the President of the United States had no right to recruit in Massachusetts men for the volunteer service of the United States without his leave. This doctrine of secession did not seem to me any more sound uttered by a Governor north of Mason and Dixon's line than if proclaimed by Governor Magoffin, south, so that I paid no heed to it; did not answer it; tried all that I could to have His Excellency think better of his strange notions, and pursued the even tenor of my way in recruiting, and in the same time have recruited more men than has the whole recruiting force of the State, although they have had at least five regiments and two batteries recruiting in the State during the time.

This now becomes a question of the utmost moment to the United States. Will you recruit your own men under your own authority, or will you allow the authority to be wrested from you by the States?

In my judgment it is essential to the solidarity of the nation that this power be maintained intact by the General Government. If once yielded, then a Governor opposed to the Administration may cripple the resources of an entire State. In fine, is it not the very matter, in another form, about which we are in arms?

Again, the State of Massachusetts pays as high, in some cases, as $ 12 per month extra pay to soldiers in the shape of a relief fund, at the option of towns, which the State is bound to reimburse, and for which a claim will be made on the General Government. But whether it is made or not is immaterial; as a member of the Union the State impoverishes herself in paying such bounties, for no State can support a war with so extravagant an outlay for thetate of the department as to troops, then, is substantially this:

I have recruited the Twenty-sixth Massachusetts Regiment,

about to sail ........................................... 1,043

I have recruited the Twelfth Maine Regiment, about to

sail .................................................... 900

I have recruited the Ninth Connecticut Regiment, about to

sail .................................................... 740

Salem Artillery, one battery ............................ 145

Total ................................................... 2,828

A few men may be absent at the moment of starting, but all are duly enlisted and mustered into the service. I have also a squadron of mounted rifles organized, 50; eight companies of infantry, about 700, 500 of which are now being organized into companies; they will soon fill a regiment. Four of these are being recruited by their officers, and the men have enlisted under a contract to be transferred to other companies, if their own companies are not full by a given date. In some of them the time has not expired, but in my command will all do so by December 1; also a regiment in Connecticut, to be organized in ten days.

These recruitment are on my part being made in the most economical manner possible, and are within the limits of my authority. There are certain parts of companies, now mustered into the service, being recruited in various sections of the States - in New Hampshire and Massachusetts - under State authority, which, if by an order of the War Department they could be put under my control, I could fit out at least four complete regiments, so as to sail in fourteen days.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, Commanding.