from The Worcester Spy, July 16, 1862 , (Volume 91 # 29), 

Response Of Worcester For The Call For Troops

In response to the order adopted at a special meeting of the city council, authorizing he mayor to call a special meeting of the citizens, “to respond to the call of the government for immediate action in relation to the recruiting of volunteers, to fill up at once the quota of Worcester under said call,” an immense assemblage was convened at Mechanics Hall on Saturday evening last.

The Hall was crowded, and upon the platform were many prominent citizens, including ex Gov. Lincoln, Gen. Devens, Col. Ward, and others whose presence elicited the heartiest applause. the meeting was called to order at eight o’clock by the mayor, and on motion of Hon. George W. Richardson, Mayor Aldrich was appointed chairman of the evening. On taking the chair, Mr. Aldrich in a few remarks, explained the purpose of the meeting, and sketched briefly the origin, progress, purpose, of the war to put down the rebellion. He made reference to the fact that the ranks of our armies are being thinned by disease and the casualties of battle. Besides at every fort, city, and stronghold taken it was necessary to leave a garrison. Large reinforcements are needed at once. The President calls for them, and it is our duty to respond promptly. He said he would not extend his remarks, for others were present who would address the meeting.

Gen. Charles Devens was the next speaker. He was received as he came forward with repeated rounds of applause, which were frequently renewed during the half hour which he occupied. He said it had been accounted honorable to die for the republic, but he thought it now not less of a merit to be able to speak for the republic, to help forward the great issue. It was a struggle for nationality. Ours was the only republican government in the world, and its integrity should be vindicated in whatever cost in blood or treasure. The rebels should be reduced to submission to wise and wholesome laws. Gen. D. alluded to the progress which had been made in past conflicts, the subjection of city after city and post after post, from rebel to Union authority, and asked what are we to do?

Not to indulge in carping or censoriousness in this hour of trial, but to have confidence in the officers chosen to carry forward the great work, and aid in strengthening their hands by all possible means. Let the work of recruiting, go manfully forward until the required troops are furnished, and not fritter away effort by needless criticism. The speaker made feeling allusion to the officers and men of Massachusetts regiments who had fallen in battle on the Potomac, and said it was our duty to stand resolutely and firmly by the comrades they have left behind. There need be no fear of foreign governments aiding the rebels if three hundred thousand men shall, as they should do, spring to their feet with arms in their hands, in aid of our struggling army on the Potomac. Let Col. Ward and Capt. Watson be able to carry back to the men of the 15th regiment the news that their ranks are being immediately filled, and the same spirit be infused elsewhere in the business of recruiting, and the meeting will not have been called in vain, its great object will have been accomplished.

The venerable ex governor Lincoln arose, and on coming forward to speak was welcomed with the most enthusiastic applause. His speech was able earnest and eloquent, and full of the patriotic fire of his younger days, demonstrating that the weight of 80 years had no effect in dimming either his mental or physical vigor. We will not mar its harmony of proportion as a whole by any attempted sketch. The governor concluded by offering the following resolution:---

In answer to the call of the President of the United States for this State’s quota of 300,000 men, for the re enforcement of the army of the United States, and of the requisition of the governor of the commonwealth for the enlistment of 261 volunteers, as the proportion of that quota, from this city.

Resolved, As the sense of this meeting, that, in view of the present demand for labor, and the sacrifices which men must now make, in being called, at this season, and this suddenly, from their homes, and the private concerns of business, it is just and proper, that additional pecuniary inducements should be offered to enlistments; and that it be recommended to the city council, on the faith and credit of the city, to propose to pay to each soldier, who shall voluntarily enlist from this city, under the present requisition, the sum of seventy five dollars, upon his being duly mustered into the service of the United States, provided however; that said bounty be paid to no other or greater number of soldiers than are duly enlisted and mustered into service as this city’s proportion of said requirement.

Rev. Richardson spoke next, in his peculiarly emphatic and vigorous strain. He refuted the idea too generally prevalent, that the south had made their last effort, and cannot rally again. They would rally again, and every effort was needed to subdue them. Now the question is, can we whip them? God never favors lazy men. Our army is in danger and must have assistance. Soldiers were needed. Let tonight every man resolve that this rebellion shall be crushed. Bring out every man and every gun. Let there be no more of guarding of rebel property. Gen. McClellan has already initiated a good example of setting the negroes to work for the government. Let there be no more wrangling words, but all rise up with the enthusiasm of April of last year put our hands to the wheel and put an end to the rebellion.

The mayor, in putting the question on the adoption of Gov. Lincoln’s resolution, pledged the concurrence of the city government in its support. It was unanimously adopted. Before the meeting dissolved, Deacon James White arose , and said he had great historic regard for the number 75, but felt a still stronger thrill of patriotism for 76, and therefore pledged himself to add one dollar to the number granted to each volunteer in the resolution adopted, making the number 76. this was equivalent to subscribing $261 to the soldiers bounty. Dea. White’s offer was accepted with the heartfelt and most enthusiastic applause of the meeting.

At the regular meeting of the city council, the mayor called attention to the subject of offering bounties to volunteers for the war, and gave an account of the action of the public meeting of citizens on Saturday evening last, in relation to the matter, and recommended a concurrence with the same by the city government. The subject was referred to a joint committee, consisting of Aldermen Bemis and Walker, joined by councilmen Kelley, Norton, and Greene, with instruction to report that evening. they subsequently reported an order, appropriating $100 to each volunteer who shall enlist, from July 13 to August 4, exclusive of those who have already enlisted, until the whole shall make up the required number 261 from Worcester. The order was adopted, in concurrence, receiving a few negative votes on the amount recommended at the public meeting.



15th Massachusetts VI