April 27, 1861.
Hon. Caleb Cushing.
Sir, — Under the responsibilities of this hour, — remitted both as a man and a magistrate to the solemn judgment of conscience and honor, — I must remember only that great cause of constitutional liberty and of civilization itself referred to the dread arbitrament of arms. And I am bound to say that although our personal relations have always been agreeable to myself, and notwithstanding your many great qualities fitting you for usefulness; yet your relation to public affairs, your frequently avowed opinions touching the ideas and sentiments of Massachusetts; your intimacy of social, political and sympathetic intercourse with the leading secessionists of the Rebel States, maintained for years, and never (unless at this moment) discontinued, — forbid my finding you any place in the council or the camp. I am compelled sadly to declare that, were I to accept your offer, I should dishearten numerous good and loyal men, and tend to demoralize our military service. How gladly I would have made another reply to your note of the 25th inst., which I had the honor to receive yesterday, I need not declare, nor attempt to express the painful reluctance with which this is written.
Faithfully your obedient servant,
John A. Andrew, Governor.
SOURCE: Henry Greenleaf Pearson, The Life of John A. Andrew: Governor of Massachusetts, 1861-1865, Volume 1, p. 197-8