for good of the Enrolled Militia of Missouri, I have the honor to submit the following:
The service of the Enrolled Militia have been of great value, not only during the summer of 1862, when they were first organized, but also during the present year. The ten provisional regiments which the Governor organized for continuous service, and placed under my command, enabled me to relieve an equal force of United States troops, and send them to General Grant. On several occasions I have called out from one to four additional regiments for temporary service, to meet emergencies as they have arisen. With a few exceptions, they have responded with promptness and alacrity, and have done good service. As an example illustrating the value of this organization, on the 18th instant I called out the Seventh Regiment of Saint Louis, to relieve troops in the city which I wished to send after Shelby. Within six hours after the order was made, the whole city was under the guard of this regiment and a few colored recruits, and the old troops were on their way to Jefferson City. The regiment was just as valuable to me during the short time that its services were required as a regiment of regular troops would have been.
There are some points of objection to the Enrolled Militia organization, arising from defects in the State laws. Militia-men are exempted from active service for one year upon payment of the small sum of $30. The consequence of this is that, as a rule, only the most worthless class of men are found in its ranks. The company officers are elected by the men,and share their social and political prejudices, in addition to being generally incompetent, and in some instances disloyal, or at best of doubted loyalty. To remedy these defects the provisional regiments were formed by details of both officers and men from all the regiments, eighty in number, of Enrolled Militia. In this manner ten regiments were formed for continuous active service, of as good material as could be expected in a militia organization. They are troops of about an average quality, varying, however, greatly, some being very good and others very bad. From their intimate knowledge of the country and people they have been able to render quite as valuable service, in most cases, as United States troops could have done. In some cases they have been a positive injury, in consequence of their participation in the unfortunate partisan feeling which has sprung up in the State. This fact is the most serious objection to retaining them in service. There are also other objections which I will enumerate. This detail, by which the active regiments are formed, is an arbitrary conscription, at least in many cases, and hence is more odious to the men than a regular draft. While these troops are supplied by the by the United States with quartermaster's, commissary, and ordnance stores, they must look to the State for pay. The resources of the State, available for this purpose, are now nearly exhausted, and hence if these troops serve much longer, they must do so without pay. It will be impossible to preserve among them the discipline and good feeling necessary to their efficiency for any considerable time after their pay is stopped.
For these reasons I have proposed to myself to gradually dispense with the services of these troops as fast as their places can be virtually supplied by new troops raised in Missouri for the general service, by volunteering or draft, and as fast as my success in Arkansas and consequent increased security to Missouri, shall diminish the force necessary to be kept in service here. I have every reason to hope that in two or three months fro this time these ten regiments can all be discharged; while, so far from having to recall troops from the main armies to take their place, additional re-enforcements can be sent from Missouri to those armies.