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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 4, vol 1, Part 1 (Blockade Runners)
Page 382 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

THE MILITIA.

Consists of five divisions, twenty-eight brigades, five regiments of cavalry, five of artillery, three regiments and four battalions of volunteers, and 195 regiments of the line. All the regiments of the line are now organized except the Sixty-eighth, James City and part of York; the Ninety-fourth, Lee; the One hundred and sixty-first, Ohio and the One hundred and sixty-third, Hancock. No return has been received from the Twenty-fourth Brigade, General B. W. Price, composed of the counties of Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, and Hancock, numbering five regiments, and including these there are in the whole State eight regiments of the line, not less than 10,000 men, from which no returns have been received.

There are undoubtedly at least 200,000 men in the State subject to militia duty, yet the annual consolidated return gives nearly 60,000 short of that number. This results in great degree from negligence of the duty of enrollment on the part of officers, from the failure to muster and make returns of the militia in counties where the number is insufficient to constitute a regiment, and which, under the twelfth section of the act of March 30, 1860, are not required to go out of the county to attend the regimental musters, and from the mischievous policy of allowing men to screen themselves from ordinary militia duty by becoming contributing members to volunteer corps-some of which I know have more than 100 such members-and if they are enrolled at all no return of the number is made so that it can in any way reach this office; and thus from this additional cause the apparent strength of the militia is reduced some thousands more. One of the most intelligent and accomplished field officers in the State says, in a communication respecting the difficulty of organizing his regiment, "the new law allowing any number of contributing members of volunteer companies has induced all respectable men liable to militia duty in our bounds to become such, leaving us no material to select lieutenants from. " "As already stated, the men fit for it" [a commission in the line] "have become contributing members of the volunteer companies. "

It is bad policy under any circumstances, but especially at this perilous time, to have any portion of the militia wholly withdrawn from all military training and instruction. In the course of the tour of inspection directed by you last spring I found that the numerous body of artificers employed at the Government works at Harper's Ferry, permanently or occasionally, who reside on the soil of the State, vote in and often control the local elections, are not enrolled in the militia. I submit the question whether these men do not owe militia service to the State in common with other citizens between the ages of eighteen and forty-five. Since the outrage of John Brown and his band, at which time, as is well known, the arsenal was wholly defenseless, two military companies, composed of these operatives, have been organized, uniformed, and armed at that place. No commissions for the officers of these companies have been asked of the State, and certainly the United States cannot put them in commission, nor do they in any sense consider themselves a portion of the militia of the State. I report these facts for Your Excellency's consideration.

THE VOLUNTEER FORCE.

Has increased rapidly and continues to increase. There are now in commission 92 troops of cavalry, 26 companies of artillery, 111 com-


Page 382 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 4, vol 1, Part 1 (Blockade Runners)
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