Sunday, August 14, 2016

Edward Everett Hale to Charles Hale, July 31, 1862

July 31, 1862.

Our recruiting goes on very well, except in Boston where it has been badly botched, and drags terribly. I suppose we none of us knew last year how much the recruiting was stimulated by the zeal of officers to fill their companies and earn their commissions. Now we make few or no new officers, filling the vacancies from the ranks, and exhorting people to go into the old regiments. It is therefore nobody's business in particular to go round hunting up the men. In the country where everybody attends to what is nobody's business this makes no difference and every day the selectmen of any number of towns appear with their full quotas of men taking them to the camps. But public meetings and all that sort of thing do not do this work for us in Boston. They say today that the Maine quota is full. I dare say, that with the absurd bounty we are paying for men which has done more to check recruiting than to help it, we shall draw men from Maine to fill up our gaps. People are getting into better spirit and the tone of the public is absolutely firm, ‘They have just found out that this is not a picnic,’ as I heard some one say in the cars today.

SOURCE: Edward Everett Hale Jr., The Life and Letters of Edward Everett Hale, Volume 1, p. 329-30

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