War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0864 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records


EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Boston, January 17, 1862.


Assistant Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

Your telegram is just received. Please read communication to Adjutant-General Thomas of January 9. The proceedings of General Butler prevented us from starting new regiments authorized, and the new Army orders have taken everything out of my hands. I will do everything possible for the Government if called on, and the orders adhered to.


(On December 21, 1861, copies of all the foregoing letters and documents to that date were forwarded to the Senators of Massachusetts in the Congress of the United States, as follows:)

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Boston, December 21, 1861.

Honorable CHARLES SUMNER and


SENATORS: I appeal to you, as the official representatives of this Commonwealth in the Congress of the United States and its proper agents at the seat of Government, to examine, and in your official capacity to act upon, the official copies of correspondence which I have the honor herewith to inclose, by presenting the subject formally to the President of the United States.

For an immediate comprehension of its purport I would suggest to you, before examining the file consecutively, to read--

1. My letter to Adjutant-General Thomas, under date of November 27.

2. The letter addressed by me to the Secretary of War, under date of October 6.

3. The letters addressed to Major-General Butler on October 5 and October 26.

The other documents explain, illustrate, and fortify the facts stated and positions assumed in these letters.

As I do not receive any reply from the officers of the Federal Government whom I have thus addressed, nor any redress or cessation of the evils of which complaint is therein made, I am compelled thus to resort to your official intervention. It is not my judgment that this Commonwealth is properly subject either to open injustice or to contemptuous silence. I do not think that the people of Massachusetts can endure that I should fail to fully assert their rights and vindicate their interests, although obliged to do so in connection with the upholding of my own official functions. However humble and unimportant may be the person, individually, who happens at this time to hold the place of the Chief Executive Magistrate of Massachusetts, is not to be remembered by you or by himself.

But when the venerable Commonwealth which he serves is thus treated with contumely, although in his own person, it is not permitted even to him to remain silent.

Perhaps the blood shed by the children of this Commonwealth at Baltimore, at Ball's Bluff, and whenever else they have been called in arms during the present year, may have been only their dutiful share in the sufferings of the war; but it is neither in my heart nor in my