War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0757 Chapter LV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

In each of the three years, 1862, 1863, and 1864, it has been found necessary to call the State militia for the defense of the State, and this has been done with the assent and assistance of the General Government. From the want of organization we have been obliged to rely exclusively on volunteer militia, and, with few exceptions, to organize them anew for each occasion. This has caused confusion and a loss of valuable time, and has resulted in sending to the field bodies of men in a great measure undisciplined. The militia bill passed at the last session is, I think, for ordinary times, the best militia law we have ever had, but under the existing extraordinary circumstances it seems to require modification. I suggest that the assessors be directed to make an immediate enrollment, classifying the militia as may be thought best; that the officers be appointed by the Governor, on the recommendation approved by him of a board of examination composed of three major-generals for each division, of whom the major-general of the division shall be one, the other two to be designated by the Governor, from adjoining divisions, or in such other mode as the Legislature may think fit; that tin all cases the officers shall be selected by preference from officers and men who have been in service and shall have been honorably discharged by the United States; and that effectual provision be made for drafting the militia when required.

The recommendation in regard to appointments is made to avoid the angry dissensions and too often political jealousies which divide military organizations by the election of officers, and to secure the services of the most deserving and competent men.

The election of officers in the volunteer forces in the field has been found to be injurious to the service, while promotions by seniority and appointments of meritorious privates have produced harmony and stimulated to faithfulness. In the enlistments of new organizations the plan adopted of granting authority to officers to recruit companies has been found to be the best policy.

I also recommend that the Governor be authorized to form (either by the acceptance of volunteers or by draft in such parts of the State as he may deem expedient) a special corps of militia, to consist ind use proportion of cavalry, artillery, and infantry, to be kept up to the full number of fifteen regiments, to be styled "Minute Men," who shall be sworn and mustered in the ute of the State for three years, who shall assemble for drill at such times and places as he may direct, who shall be clothed, armed, and equipped by the State, and paid when assembled for drill or called into service, and who shall, at all times, be liable to be called into immediate service for the defense of the State, independently of the remainder of the militia. As this force would be subject to sudden calls, the large part of it should be organized in the counties lying on our extreme border, and as the people of those counties have more personal interest tin their protection, the recommendation is made to authorize the Governor to designate the parts of the State in which it shall be raised, and to same the time, expense of transporting troops from remote parts of the State, and the subsistence and pay in going to and from the border. A body of men so organized will, it is believed, be effective to prevent raids and incursions. The expenses of clothing, arming, and equipping such a force cannot be correctly ascertained, but quartermaster-general has bee directed to make approximate estimate for your information, which will being dependent of pay and subsistence. The State would provide at least six four-gun batteries of field artillery, with all the modern improvements. The suggestion has been frequently made by unreflecting