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legally exempt from military service, and his friends would have dissuaded him at last from assuming its hardships and perils; but he met their persuasions by an appeal to the flag of his country, whose fortunes he declared that he would surely follow. And when the fatal bullets had smitten him, and he lay struggling with death, the vision of his country's flag suddenly seemed to flash before him as a momentary glory and delight; and exclaiming aloud with his dying voice, "All hail to the stripes and stars!" the soldier-boy ended his brief campaign.
The public opinion that permitted this tragedy derives its interpretation from public documents and official action which leave no doubt of the value of the Massachusetts militia to the Union cause, no doubt of the danger their service averted, no doubt of the urgent necessity of that very march through Baltimore, no doubt that it was the hinge on which turned the ultimate fate of Maryland, and perhaps of the Union. Our militia were ready not a day too soon, nor were they an hour too late. The people of Baltimore, so telegraphed the Mayor to myself, on the 20th of April, regarded the passage of armed troops of another State through their streets as an invasion of their soil, and could not be restrained. The Governor of Maryland and the Mayor of Baltimore represented to President Lincoln that the people were exasperated to the highest degree by the presence of the troops, and that it was not possible for more soldiers to pass through Baltimore. They remonstrated against the transit of more soldiers, and they required that the troops already in the State be sent back to its borders. In reply to the Mayor of Baltimore, the Governor of Massachusetts telegraphed, "I am overwhelmed with surprise that a peaceful march of American citizens over the highway to the defence of our common capital should be deemed aggressive to Baltimoreans. Through New York their march was triumphal."
The loyal people of the Union shared this surprise, and exhibited it through the public press, in public meetings, in cordial response to the Presidential proclamation, and by promptly raising troops for three months' service. The affair of the 19th of April was observed throughout the country with inexpressible emotion.
In the Congressional debates on "The Reconstruction of the States," in April, 1864, the Hon. Mr. Williams of Pennsylvania, in a speech of "rare beauty and masterly power," pronounced a feeling eulogy upon Massachusetts, in connection with the reception and burial of the bodies of those slain heroes. He exclaimed,
Leave Massachusetts out in the cold! What matters it that no tropical sun has fevered her Northern blood into the delirium of treason? I know no trait of tenderness more touching and more human than that with which she received back to her arms the bodies of her lifeless children. "Handle them tenderly" was the message of her loyal Governor. Massachusetts desired to
look once more upon the faces of her martyred sons, "marred as they were by traitors." She lifted gently the sable pall that covered them. She gave them a soldier's burial and a soldier's farewell; and then, like David of old, when he was informed that the child of his affections had ceased to live, she rose to her feet, dashed the tear-drop from her eye, and in twenty days her iron-clad battalions were crowning the heights, and her guns frowning destruction over the streets, of the rebel city. Shut out Massachusetts in the cold! Yes you may blot her out from the map of the continent; you may bring back the glacial epoch, when the arctic ice-drift, that has deposited so many monuments on her soil, swept over her buried surface; when the polar bear, perhaps, paced the driving floes, and the walrus frolicked among the tumbling icebergs but you cannot sink her deep enough to drown the memory of Lexington and Concord, or bury the summit of the tall column that lifts its head over the first of our battle-fields. "With her," in the language of her great son, 'the past, at least, is secure." The Muse of History has flung her story upon the world's canvas in tints that will not fade, and cannot die.
Meanwhile Major Devens's battalion of riflemen was ordered to Fort McHenry, in the harbor of Baltimore, where it completed the term of service. Although quiet duty, it was indispensable, at that place and time, to keep restless Maryland in the Union.
May 14, at an extra session of the Legislature, Gov. Andrew, in his address, made statements which further show the singular pre-eminence of the State in readiness to hear the call to arms, repeated at intervals during the subsequent months and years. The Governor said,
In view of the great lack of arms existing in this Commonwealth, certain to become apparent in the event of a continued struggle,—a want shared by the States in common with each other, -under the advice and consent of the Council, I commissioned a citizen of Massachusetts, on the twenty-seventh day of April (who sailed almost immediately in the steamer "Persia"), to proceed to England, charged with the duty of purchasing Minie rifles, or other arms of corresponding efficiency, in England, or on the Continent, as he might find it needful or desirable. To this end, he was furnished with a letter of credit to the amount of fifty thousand pounds sterling; and he was attended by an accomplished and experienced armorer, familiar with the workshops of the Old World. The production of fire-arms at home will, of necessity, remain for a considerable period inadequate to the home demand, and I await with much interest the arrival from abroad of our expected importation; and I have no doubt that Congress, at its approaching special session, will relieve this Commonwealth from the payment of the duties chargeable thereon.
In addition to its other military defences, the Nautical School-ship has been fitted up to aid in guarding the coast of the Commonwealth. She has
been armed with four six-pound cannon and fifty-two muskets. The Collector of the district of Boston and Charlestown has commissioned, and placed on board the ship, an "aide to the revenue," with instructions to overhaul all suspicious vessels; warning him to use that authority with caution and moderation. Each afternoon, at the expiration of business-hours, the collector telegraphs to the station at Hull the names of all vessels having permission to pass out of the harbor of Boston; and, the list being immediately forwarded to the ship, the "aide" is authorized to order all vessels not so reported, and attempting to leave the harbor between sunset and sunrise, to wait till the next day, and until he is satisfied of their right to pass.
The commander of the ship is instructed to assist the "aide to the revenue" to see that thorough discipline is at all times maintained; that the rules of the ship are strictly obeyed; that all due economy is practised; that the exercises of the school are daily continued; and to see that the boys receive kind treatment, and their habits, morals, and education are carefully and constantly regarded. On the 7th of this month, the ship left the harbor of Boston, and is now cruising in the bay in the performance of the duties assigned her.
A sense of insecurity along our coast, under the late piratical proclamation of Jefferson Davis, as well as our constant wants for transportation service, have induced a purchase for the Commonwealth, as a part owner with the underwriters of Boston, of the steamer "Cambridge," of about eight hundred and sixty tons' burthen, and of the steamer "Pembroke," of two hundred and forty tons, both of which, equipped with competent naval armament, and ready to fight their way over the seas, are engaged in service. The "Cambridge" has carried a full cargo of arms, men, and supplies, in ample quantities, not only to Fortress Monroe, but up the Potomac itself; and, in spite of the danger supposed to menace her from its banks, she has safely carried tents, stores, provisions, and clothing to our troops at Washington.
Besides making the requisite appropriations to meet these and other expenses, and adopting measures to establish the power of the Executive to meet the emergencies of the occasion on a distinctly legal foundation, my other principal purpose in convening the General Court was to ask its attention to the subject of a State Encampment for Military Instruction.
Wise statesmanship requires an adequate anticipation of all future wants of the controversy, whether as to the number or quality of the military force, its discipline, instruction, arms, or equipment. At this moment, there exist one hundred and twenty-nine companies newly enlisted into the active militia, all of whom were induced to enroll themselves by the possibility of active duty in the field. Many of these are anxious to receive orders for service; and, with drawing themselves from other avocations, they are now endeavoring to perfect themselves in the details of a soldier's routine of duty. It seemed equally an injustice towards those who are disposed to arms, and to all other citizens on whom future exigencies might cast the inconvenient necessity of taking the field, to discourage these efforts and struggles of patriotic ambi
tion. It is important to secure a reasonable number of soldiers, to have them ascertained, within reach, and in a proper condition for service; and it is scarcely less important that other citizens should be left as free as may be from the distractions of a divided duty, so as to pursue with heart and hope the business enterprises of private life. The best public economy is found in the forethought of considered plans, disposing the means, pursuits, and people of the whole community, so as to meet all exigencies without confusion, and with the least possible derangement of productive industry; and I have, therefore, to these ends, earnestly considered the suggestions of various eminent citizens, the written requests or memorials, numerously signed, which have reached me, and the advice of the highest officers in our own militia, all uniting in the recommendation of a State encampment.
On the 30th of May, Gen. E. W. Pierce, Second Brigade, First Division, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, succeeded Brig.-Gen. Butler after his promotion.
Of these regiments, which obeyed the call to arms while yet the Rebellion was regarded as a transient ebullition of passion, Adjutant-Gen. Schouler wrote in his report to Gov. Andrew:
It would far exceed the limits of this report to recount in detail the brave acts of our three-months' troops during their term of service. It is sufficient, perhaps, to say that they were the first to respond to the call of the President, the first to march through Baltimore to the defence of the capital, the first to shed their blood for the maintenance of our Government, the first to open the new route to Washington by way of Annapolis, the first to land on the soil of Virginia and hold possession of the most important fortress in the Union, the first to make the voyage of the Potomac and approach the Federal city by water, as they had been the first to reach it by land. They upheld the good name of the State during their entire term of service, as well by their good conduct and gentlemanly bearing as by their courage and devotion to duty in the hour of peril. They proved the sterling worth of our volunteer militia. Their record is one which will ever redound to the honor of Massachusetts, and will be prized among her richest historic treasures. These men have added new splendor to our Revolutionary annals; and the brave sons who were shot down in the streets of Baltimore on the 19th of April have rendered doubly sacred the day when the greensward of Lexing ton Common was drenched with the blood of their fathers.
From the 13th of April to the 20th of May, one hundred and fifty-nine applications were granted at the Adjutant-General's office to responsible parties for leave to raise companies. In nearly every instance, the application was signed by the requisite number of men for a company. These applications came from every part of the Commonwealth, and represented all classes, creeds, and nationalities. The authorities of the several cities and towns acted with patriotic liberality toward these companies, furnishing good accom
modations for drilling, and providing for the families of the men.. In addition to these companies,, organizations for drill-purposes and home-guards sprung up at once in every part of the State; and numerous applications were received for loans of muskets to these parties, that they might perfect themselves in the manual. This spirit of patriotism was encouraged to its full extent by the means at the disposal of the Adjutant-General. From the 13th of April to the 20th of May, about two thousand seven hundred old muskets were distributed to forty of these organizations. In every instance, good security was required and given for the safe-keeping of these arms, and their return to the State when called for, generally from the selectmen of the towns making application. When the office of Master of Ordnance was created by your Excellency on the 27th of May, the papers and vouchers relating to the arms were transferred from this department; and the report of the Master of Ordnance, which accompanies this, will show the exact amount and condition of our ordnance material at that time.
About the 1st of May, an association of Massachusetts men, forming a company in Cincinnati, made an urgent request for arms. Their committee had applied at New York and Philadelphia without success, and at length came to Massachusetts. As we had just received five thousand new smoothbore muskets from the Springfield Armory, I sold them one hundred; for which they paid thirteen hundred dollars, the Government price. The money was deposited in the State Treasury, and doubtless the muskets were soon in the hands of men who did good service in the Union army of Kentucky.
The Fifth Regiment participated in the first great battle of the war at Manassas. Col. Lawrence was wounded. Hiram S. Collins, Haverhill, Company D; Sergeant William H. Lawrence, Medford, Company E; Sergeant Charles W. Cassebourne, Thomas Kettle, Isaac M. Low, Stephen O'Hara, Cyrus T. Wardwell, and Edward J. Williams, all of Boston, Company F; Sergeant William S. Rice, Concord, Company G; George A. Thompson, Salem, Company H,-- were killed. Twenty-two were missing after the fight was over.
The three-months' volunteers were distributed over the State as follows: