War of the Rebellion: Serial 129 Page 0178 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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Numbers 26.
Richmond, March 1, 1864.

The following act of Congress and regulations are published for the information and guidance of all concerned:

AN ACT to organize forces to serve during the war.

The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That from and after the passage of this act, all white men, residents of the Confederate States, between the ages of seventeen and fifty, shall be in the military service of the Confederate States for the war.

SEC. 2. That all the persons aforesaid, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, now in service, shall be retained, during the present war with the United States, in the same regiments, battalions and companies to which they belong at the passage of this act, with the same organization and officers, unless regularly transferred or discharged, in accordance with the laws and regulations for the government of the Army: Provided, That companies from one States, organized against their consent, expressed at the time, with regiments or battalions from another State, shall have the privilege of being transferred to organizations of troops in the same arm of the service from the State in which said companies were raised, and the soldiers from one State in companies from another State shall be allowed, if they desire it, a transfer to organizations from their own State in the same arm of the service.

SEC. 3. That, at the expiration of six months from the first day of April next a bounty of one hundred dollars, in a six per cent. Government bond, which the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized to issue, shall be paid to every non-commissioned officer, musician and private who shall then be in the service, or, in the event of his death previous to the period of such payment, then to the person or persons who would be entitled by law to receive the arrearage of his pay; but no one shall be entitled to the bounty herein provided who shall, at any time during the period of six months next after the said first day of April, be absent from his command without leave.

SEC. 4. That no person shall be relieved from the operation of this act by reason of having been heretofore discharged from the Army, where no disability now exists, nor shall those who have furnished substitutes be any longer exempted by reason thereof: Provided, That no person heretofore exempted on account of religious opinions, and who has paid the tax levied to relieve him from service, shall be required to render military service under this act.

SEC. 5. That all white male residents of the Confederate States between the ages of seventeen and eighteen and forty-five and fifty years shall enroll themselves, at such times and places, and under such regulations as the President may prescribe, the time allowed not being less than thirty days for those east, and sixty days for those west of the Mississippi River; and any person who shall fail so to enroll himself, without a reasonable excuse therefor, to be judged of by the President, shall be placed in service in the field for the war, in the same manner as though he were between the ages of eighteen and forty-five: Provided, That the persons mentioned in this section shall constitute a reserve for State defense and detail duty and shall not be perform service out of the State in which they reside.

SEC. 6. That all persons required by the fifth section of this act to enroll themselves may, within thirty days after the passage hereof, east of the Mississippi River, and within sixty days if west of said river, form themselves into voluntary organizations of companies, battalions or regiments, and elect their own officers--said organization to conform to the existing law; and having so organized, to tender their service as volunteers during the war, to the President, and if such organization shall furnish proper muster-rolls, as now required, and deposit a copy thereof with the enrolling officer of their district (which shall be equivalent to enrollment), they may be accepted as minute men for service in such State; but in no event to be taken out of it. Those who do not so volunteer and organize shall enroll themselves as before provided, and may, by the President, be required to assemble at places of rendezvous, and be formed into companies, battalions and regiments, under regulations to be prescribed by him, and shall have the right to elect their company and regimental officers; and all troops organized under this act for State defense shall be entitled, while in actual service, to the same pay and allowances as troops now in the field.

SEC. 7. That any person who shall fail to attend at the place of rendezvous, as required by the authority of the President, without a sufficient excuse, to be judged of by him, shall be liable to be placed in service in the field for the war, as if he were between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years.