War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0863 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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the toleration of this indignity practiced toward a Commonwealth which had done nothing to deserve it, and in that trust I remain silent still.

If you desire more particular details of the action of Major- General Butler relative to the government of Massachusetts and to his recruitment in this State, I respectfully refer you to the Senators of Massachusetts in Congress, and to copies of correspondence and documents relating to the subject which are in their possession. In my opinion, which I submit with entire respect, there is no necessity for the organization at all of the men whom General Butler has thus collected, and who are, as you state, unofficered. They cannot be required for immediate service under his command, for the Twenty-eighth Regiment of our Massachusetts line, which (together with our Twenty-sixth) I raised for him and placed at his disposal has, after being fully recruited and equipped, been ordered to leave the State for entirely another service. They cannot render any more effectual benefit to the country than by being used to recruit to the maximum standard the Massachusetts regiments already in the field, and particularly the Fifteenth and Twentieth, which were more than decimated at Ball's Bluff, and the recruitment for which has been checked and embarrassed by the insubordinate competition of General Butler. This also would admit their needy families to the benefits of the State law for the relief of the needy families of soldiers in regular Massachusetts regiments.

But if, on the contrary, the Federal Government shall deem it more beneficent to the public service that these men should be organized into companies and regiments, and by the appointment of officers, and shall request me to undertake that duty in the manner in which I have performed it in the instances of the twenty-five regiments which this State has hitherto contributed to the Army, exercising my own discretion in all matters in the same manner as with those twenty-five regiments. I will assume the task and perform it according to my best judgment and ability; and to that end Major-General Butler should be directed to report in accordance with the General Orders, Numbers 78, and otherwise to comply with the provisions of that order, which as yet he has entirely neglected and disobeyed.

In event of the Federal Government requesting me to undertake the organization of these men, I should be pleased to hear more definitely from the Secretary of War with reference to the employment in Massachusetts regiments of some of the foreign officers now tendering their services to the United States, on which subject he has already addressed me. If there are such officers of marked merit, for whom other commands have not been secured, it would be possible to issue commissions to some of them, if adequate reasons should appear for their employment, in accordance with the request of the Secretary.

I have the honor to be, with the highest respect, your obedient servant.



WASHINGTON, D. C., January 15, 1862.



What number of troops can you have ready, fully equipped for marching, within one week from this date?


Assistant Secretary of War.