interview had with you the irrevocable determination of the Government of the United States to appoint the general officers for the forces furnished by the government of New York, and to refuse to receive those forces in the event that such determination should not be acceded to. I deem it my duty, respectfully but firmly, to protest against this determination. It imposes on the Board of State Officers, unless they submit to it, the necessity of violating the laws and constitution of the State of New York, which have been framed in conformity to the Constitution of the United States. It destroys and dishonors the distinctive character of the militia of the States which is adapted to the habits and endeared to the minds of the people. It does not agree with the written arrangement which was heretofore made with you by the attorney-general of the State, acting in behalf of the Board of State Officers, and in pursuance of which written arrangement they have organized thirty-eight regiments of volunteer militia. To the undersigned it seems to be an unnecessary and invidious determination, which, while it may command a temporary acquiescence under the pressure of the great dangers impending over the country, will be deliberately revoked when the present exigency shall have been passed so that it may be safely and circumspectly considered. It only remains for the undersigned to report to the Board of State Officers of New York the determination which you have emphatically expressed, in order that they may take such action as in their judgment the occasion requires.
I have the honor to be, with high consideration, yours, &c.,
Lieutenant-Governor of New York.
[Inclosure Numbers 1.] AN ACT to authorize the embodying and equipment of a volunteer militia, and to provide for the public defense.
[Passed April 16, 1861.]
The people of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:
SECTION 1. The Governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, comptroller, attorney-general, State engineer and surveyor, and State treasurer, or a majority of them, are hereby authorized and empowered to accept the service and to cause to be enrolled and mustered into the service of the State for two years, unless sooner discharged by the order of the said officers above named, volunteers, in their discretion as to the number, not to exceed 30,000 men, to be officered, organized, and equipped in such manner as the said officers or a majority of them may order and direct, and to be formed and organized without regard to existing military districts; the said force hereby authorized being in addition to the present military organization of the State, and a part of the militia thereof.
SEC. 2. The officers of such organization of volunteers shall be elected and appointed in the manner prescribed by section 2 of article 11 of the constitution of the State, and commissioned by the Governor, and he is hereby authorized and empowered to prescribe such rules and regulations as he may deem proper to carry out the provisions of such article of the constitution relative to election and appointment: Provided, however, That when any vacancy shall occur among such volunteers while they are absent from the State, the Governor is hereby authorized and empowered to appoint and to commission the requisite officers to fill such vacancies.
SEC. 3. The officers and men of the said force shall receive the same pay and rations, while in service under the provisions of this act, as