War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0843 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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troops or grant commissions to officers over them, from which determination I feel it to be my public duty not to depart. I feel that I cannot, in justice to these men whom he has thus deluded into his movement, leave them sworn into U. S. service, as I understand them to have been, without at least this effort to secure to them a position in the service where they will be recognized by this Commonwealth as its regular troops, and whereby their families may become entitled to the benefits of the aid provided by law for the needy families of soldiers raised under the sanction of the authorities of Massachusetts.

And here I deem it my duty deliberately and earnestly to request that the appointment of Major-General Butler to the command of the Department of New England shall be revoked, or that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at least shall be annexed to the Department of New York or to any other department found most convenient.

No want was felt by us of any change from our connection with the old Department of the East, nor was such change asked for or desired by any one to be affected by it, so far as I can learn, save by the commander of the new Department of New England himself. I make this request as well from self-respect as from conviction of this rightfulness; and I urge it with all the earnestness which can become me in a matter and I urge it with al the earnestness which can become me in a matter of the utmost concern-because in view of the utterly contemptuous manner in which Major-General Butler has conducted in the matter to which allusion has been made above, and the system of studious insult which he has practiced toward this Commonwealth and the lawful powers which it is my duty to uphold, I cannot quietly endure longer without remonstrance. If I should continue silent, I should become an accomplice. I should help to discourage other good men who depend on mown manhood and fidelity, and official as well as personal honor, to maintain my proper authority, and make good my warranties expressed or implied in the orders and authorities issued and imparted by me relative to the subject of raising troops in this State for the Federal volunteer service.

Moreover, the departure of Major-General Butler for another and remote theater of action to which he announces that he is bound will leave the department without any commander within reach of the duties, if any, which pertain properly to its command.

I had hoped that my letter of October 6 to the Honorable Secretary of War would have resulted in some authoritative regulation of all these matters without obliging me further to assume the apparent attitude of accusation or of controversy. But the assumption of General Butler, as I learn from the public prints and from public report, to organize a reigment and his persistency in demeaning himself in a manner which leaves me no assurance that my own efforts to raise the new regiments for which requisition has been made upon me by the Department may not be interfered with or even defeated by other and more extensive usurpations on his part, oblige me to take a stand where we now are, to ask for a proper disposition of existing facts and for immunity for the future.

I address this letter to you, general, in order that it may be laid before the President or the Secretary of War or the General- in-Chief by yourself as the head of the appropriate bureau of communication, according to your judgment of the necessity and propriety of the case; and I have the honor to remain,

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,


Governor of Massachusetts.