COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, EXECUTIVE DEPT.,
Boston, July 27, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
MY DEAR SIR: I wish I could see you five minutes, but I cannot; I must write. Your telegram declining to let drafted men volunteer in some existing or authorized organization surprised men. I have been over the ground orally with Mr. Whiting, and he advises that I write you, deeming my telegram an insufficient presentation of the case.
First. Drafted men do by law of United States stand, as to pay, bounty, and all rights, on the same footing with volunteers. Therefore the Government of the United States loses nothing in allowing them to volunteer.
Second. The men gain something, for it volunteers I can pay them $50 State bounty when they shall have joined a regiment in the field. They have also the satisfaction of standing in the category of volunteers, which is a good deal to many minds. If in any way the feelings of the people can be consulted, in a matter so grave and coming so near to their tenderized emotions both of affection and honor, as well as of patriotism, I cannot but feel it ought to be done.
Again, many men who unless called by draft or act of law, would not volunteer, are yet willing to go into service when the country, by the voice of the law, does call them.
Unwilling to assume the responsibility of electing themselves to be soldiers-leaving behind them all their domestic and social obligations and taking their lives in their hands-they are notwithstanding wiling to be soldiers when duly elected by no act of their own. accepting the decree of the law as their rule of duty they will march voluntarily, willingly, and why then should they march as by compulsion? There are many cases, too, of hard poverty, which I want to relieve and ought to relieve by the good a single $50 would do a poor woman and her children. It might not be much to some, but it is much to them. And in these days when, by necessity, great powers and high prerogatives are soused by officers of Government, both State and National, I desire above all things that we should always soften their aspirates and scatter a few gleams of sunshine over the grim face of war, by every cat and every legal construction within our power (and with constant leanings in that direction) suggested by a gentle, graceful kindness. So, therefore, a the risk of seeming too persistent, not being able to see why my proposition is not right, and hoping I may thus bring more clearly before your mind the precise point at which I aim, I have thus written.
And I am, respectfully and obediently, yours,
JOHN A. ANDREW,
Governor of Massachusetts.
ACTG. ASST. PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Detroit, July 27, 1863.
Colonel JAMES B. FRY,
SIR: In continuance of previous reports made pursuant to your telegram of 13th instant I have the honor to report that for the reasons heretofore given the enrollment in two districts, the Fourth and
37 R R-SERIES III, VOL III