Today in History:

Music of the Civil War

Massachusetts Request to Fund Musicians



Boston, Mass., July 7, 1862.


Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: Since we were honored with a visit from yourself and General Buckingham I have given a good deal of consideration to the matter of recruiting, and in this I propose to state some of the points which I regard as important:

First. We should be allowed a band of ten musicians for each camp to enliven the men and give attraction to the camp. This proposition I made when you were here, and I understood you and General Buckingham to accede to it, but I wish to have the authority in writing so it may go on file. The cost to each camp will be about $400 a month.

Second. There should be an officer commissioned and stationed in each camp to muster recruits into service as soon as they arrive in camp. We now depend on Captain Goodhue, who is stationed here in Boston, and his time is so much engaged with his business that he cannot attend often at the camp at Worcester. Will permission be given to the senior officer in command at any one of our camp to muster in recruits as they arrive?

Third. It would facilitate recruiting very much if the officers could be commissioned when authorized to raise companies, with the distinct understanding that unless the raised their company in a reasonable time the commissions should be canceled. As it now is the men who recruits spend their time and money without receiving any pay for their services. Why should not their pay begin when their labor begins?

Fourth. We are too much hedged in with army regulations and army officers. Our tents should be floored, but the U. S. officers won"t allow the bill because the regulations don"t allow it. In order to get recruits the camps must be made comfortable and attractive. It is the denial of these little things which annoys officers and men. It was a great mistake when the recruiting was taken from the State and put in the hands of U. S. officers. They more slow, have no enthusiasm, and, as Governor Corwhave mist growing on the calves of their legs."

Please have this letter given to General Buckingham, and request him to let me know what I can do as speedily as possible. I think we can have our fifteen regiments recruited in the time you stated. Only give me a little margin, and keep us as much as possible under State authority.

With great respect, dear Governor, I am, your obedient servant,