War of the Rebellion: Serial 079 Page 0411 Chapter LI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

facts in regard to the militia organization of Memphis, which we think demand the consideration of the military authorities in order that the organization may be more efficient:

The militia is composed of the business men, clerks, and laboring men of Memphis who are physically able for duty. In addition to drilling once a week they are required to guard the armories day and night, to arrest absentees from drill and guard duty, to patrol the city from time to time in search of delinquents and those who wish to avoid duty in the organization, and at the same time they are expected to keep their arms and accouterments in good order. These requirements, it has been found by experience, are a severe tax on the time and pockets of the members, and more particularly on the clerks and the laboring class of community. This would not be so objectionable, or at least would not be made a matter of complaint, were it not for the fact that there are nearly, if not quite, as many exempts (from various causes - under age, over age, and physical disability) who are equally interested in the safety of the city as there are men in the militia, and who contribute nothing to the organization, neither time, money, nor good will, and who do not, as the recent emergency plainly proved, tender their services in any manner or form in time of need. Inasmuch as the organization is for the better defenses of the city, the city is certainly interested; and as it is an organization required by the military authorities we most respectfully request that said authorities aid us in making the following changes in the organization: We ask that permanent guards be employed, to be paid by the city, to do duty at the several regimental in their charge, additional guards in cases of emergency to be detailed from the different regiments; that a sufficient number of competent persons be employed by the city to keep the arms and accouterments of the different regiments in good serviceable condition, and that the city furnish and needful articles for keeping the arms in good condition and repair. We also suggest the almost absolute necessity for the regimental adjutant to be constantly on duty. Business men cannot be found who have sufficient time to discharge the duties of the office. We therefore request that a competent person for each regiment may be detailed from the army, or that we be authorized to select such officers, and that in either case they be allowed the pay of regimental adjutants in the army, on condition, however, that they do not engaged in any kind of business while holding the office. During the fall and coming winter we suggest that all business he suspended after 12 m. on Monday of each week, and that each regiment be required to devote at least three hours to company and battalion drill.

C. McDONALD,

Colonel First Regiment Enrolled Militia.

D. RYAN,

Colonel Second Regiment Enrolled Militia, Defenses of Memphis.

M. T. WILLIAMSON,

Colonel THIRD Regiment Enrolled, Militia, Defenses of Memphis.

ent.]

HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, ENROLLED MILITIA, DEFENSES OF MEMPHIS,

Memphis, Tenn., October 25, 1864.

Respectfully forwarded.

So much of the communication as applies to permanent guards at the several armories is disapproved. I deem it necessary that the com-