In the morning on a drizzly April 16, a steady stream of Lowell residents visited the various armories where the militia companies of the Sixth Regiment had gathered the night before, bringing food, supplies, money and support. By 9 am, the remaining companies of the Sixth – Company B from Groton, Company E from Acton, and Companies F and I from Lawrence – had also arrived in Lowell. (There were four companies from Lowell and three other companies – from Stoneham, Boston and Worcester – were attached to the Regiment the next day for this deployment).
At 10 am, a civic send-off ceremony commenced at Huntington Hall, the 19th Century equivalent of today’s Lowell Memorial Auditorium which was located at the corner of Merrimack and Dutton Street. Speakers included Regimental Commander Colonel Jones, Mayor Sargent, Rev Amos Blanchard and several other dignitaries. By 11:45 am, the Regiment had boarded a special train bound for Boston (the train station was on the first floor of Huntington Hall) and soon departed.
In Boston, the Sixth marched through streets lined with cheering citizens, stopping for a while at Faneuil Hall and then continuing on to Boylston Hall on Washington Street, where they would spend the night.
That day’s Daily Courier reported on the confusion that ensued at the State House upon receipt of President Lincoln’s request for troops. That summons had called for several “fully uniformed and equipped regiments of ten companies each” but the Massachusetts militia had long been organized only as independent companies and only recently began to coalesce into larger, regimental sized units. None yet had ten companies (not to mention uniform uniforms). Governor Andrew and his advisors, after receiving “quite an amount of gratuitous advice . . . from warlike gentlemen who were about”, began mixing and matching companies and regiments. According to the Courier, “Col Jones’ regiment – the Sixth – appeared to be the favorite among all hands” with the “most popular plan” being to bulk up the Sixth and Eight Regiments with companies from the Ninth and Tenth until they reached full strength (hence the Stoneham, Worcester and Boston units that accompanied the Lowell-based regiment to Baltimore).