to set-off, used in the profession which we both practiced, and which, perhaps, it would have been better for both and for the country if we had never left, do not apply to the courtesies of
life. If you have, by accident, treated me discourteously, it is
no set-off that I had accidentally or even intentionally treated
you discourteously. As soon as it is thus made such set-off, then
your discourtesy becomes intentional. But something too much of
all this. As you have disclaimed all intentional discourtesy, that
is sufficient. If my attention had been called to any supposed want
of courtesy on my part I should have at once disclaimed it, as I
now do. Let, them, the citizen speak to the citizen, and say, without circumlocution, paragraph rase, or euphuism, that in the matter of the officers of the light battery I should not have
recommended Captain Manning unless I had supposed that he was
specially desired by yourself and the adjutant-general. If he does
not commend himself to you I have no objection to his not being
commissioned, and will offer another. With regard to the other
officers, their good conduct, after several weeks' trial, commended
them both to me and their men. If any base charge can be substantiated against either of them, I shall be happy to substitute others. I believe, however, that neither of them have ever done anything worse than seducing a mother, and making a father wifeless and children motherless; and that, you know, is no objection to a high military commission in Massachusetts. I believe
neither of them dead or physically disabled, as suggested in your
note. If apology is needed for not notifying you of the fact that the battery was going to sea, I must say that your supposed absence
from the Commonwealth during all the time from the organization of
the company until the exigencies of the service required them to go, is the best that I can offer.
They had been ordered to report to me, were under my control, had been mustered into the service of the United States, and with their future movements, I respectfully submit, you had nothing to do, save to give commissions, if you so choose. If not, it is but
justice to these men so to say. You have stated that this battery
sailed "incompletely uniformed and equipped, and not fully recruited;" that is fully denied, and you must have been misinformed. Inclosed is the evidence of your voluntary enrollment
into the U. S. Army of Massachusetts Volunteers.
I am, most respectfully, your fellow-citizen,
BENJ. F. BUTLER.
(Accompanying the letter of which the foregoing is a copy was forwarded a newspaper, entitled "New England Meridian. News, Literature, Politics, Science, and General Information. Vol. I,
Numbers 3. Boston, December 21, 1861;" on the fifth page of which
newspaper was marked in ink a printed roster of the general and personal staff of the commander-in-chief of the Massachusetts
militia, underneath the heading "U. S. Army Roll of Massachusetts
Volunteers," and written in ink upon the margin of the newspaper
opposite this roster is the following:
I certify that this publication, while in proof, was submitted to Governor Andrew and approved by him in its present form.
J. B. MANSFIELD,
DECEMBER 29, 1861.
A true copy.
JOS. M. BELL,