Washington, October 8, 1861.
I have agreed that Wilson's regiments should come to Washington, and you to furnish another regiment in its place.
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NEW ENGLAND,
Boston, October 12, 1861.
Will "His Excellency Governor Andrew" assign to General Butler the recruitment of a regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers and a squadron of mounted men, to be armed and equipped by him under the authority of the President, the officers to be selected by General Butler, but commissioned by "His Excellency," with, of course, a veto power upon what may be deemed an improper selection? As these officers are to go with General Butler upon duty, would "His Excellency" think it improper he should exercise the power of recommendation?
To the telegram of the President, asking consent that the authorization should be given to General Butler to raise troops, "His Excellency" telegraphed in reply that he would "aid" General Butler to the utmost. General Butler knows of no way in which "His Excellency" can aid him so effectually as in the manner proposed.
The selection by "His Excellency" in advance, without consultation, of a colonel and lieutenant-colonel of an unformed regiment-not a soldier of which has been recruited by the State- and both these gentlemen, to whom the general at present knows no personal objection, being absent from the State on other duty, seems to him very objectionable.
It is not certain that Lieutenant Abbot, of the Topographical Engineers, will be permitted to leave his corps. Colonel Everett has not lived in the State for many years, and has not such interest identified with the State or the men of Massachusetts, whom he would command, as to render his appointment desirable. General Butler has had, and can have, the aid of neither in his regiment, and he believes that those who do the work, other things being equal, should have the officers. General Butler would have been happy to have conferred with "His Excellency" upon these and other points, but "His Excellency" did not seem to desire it.
General Butler has proceeded upon this thesis in his recruitment- to say to all patriotic young men who seemed proper persons, and who have desired to enter the service as officers, "If you have the confidence of your neighbors so that you can recruit a given number of men, then by giving evidence of your energy and capacity thus far, if you are found fit in other respects upon examination, I will recommend you for a commission to command the number of men you shall raise." This is believed to be a course much better calculated to find officers than to hunt for them by the uncertain light petitions and recommendations.
General Butler desires to make good his words to these young gentlemen. "His Excellency" will perceive the impossibility of at once furnishing a roster under such circumstances, as requested for "His Excellency's" perusal.