Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The New Militia Bill

Hon. James T. Lane has introduced into the House of Representatives a very elaborate bill “for the enrollment, organization, discipline, and government of the militia of the State.”  It contains 178 sections, and provides that all persons between the ages of 18 and 45 years shall be subject to military duty, except those exempt by the laws of the United States, army and navy officers, ministers of the gospel, and all who are honorably discharged from the national service, firemen, commissioned officers who shall have served four years in the active militia, and all others who shall have served six years therein.

The militia are divided into two classes, the active and the reserve.  The former is to consist of all persons belonging to the uniformed military companies; the latter of all other persons subject to military duty which, however, they shall not be required to perform except in cases of war, insurrection, or invasion, and not until after the active militia are exhausted.  Each member of the reserve is to pay fifty cents annually toward a military fund.

For the purpose of organizing the active militia, the State is divided into four divisions, and twelve brigades.  The first division extends from Lee and Van Buren counties, on the south, to Jackson, Jones and Linn on the north inclusive of course taking in Scott county.  The second brigade is to include the counties of Louisa, Washington, Johnson, Muscatine and Scott.  Each division is to have a Major General, and each brigade a Brigadier General, to be elected by their respective districts next October.  The Governor, as Commander-in-chief, shall appoint an Adjutant General, Quartermaster General, Paymaster General, Surgeon General and four aids.  The Major and Brigadier Generals will also have their respective staffs.  Each regiment of infantry will have a Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, Major, Adjutant, Chaplain and quartermaster; every battalion of artillery a Lieutenant Colonel and Major, and every squadron of Cavalry a Major, with Surgeons to each.  Regimental and company commissioned officers are to be elected by members of the respective commands.  Each company is to have a Captain, two Lieutenants, an Orderly and four other Sergeants, and four Corporals.  The non-commissioned officers are to be appointed by the Captains of the company.  All commissioned officers are to continue in office for four years.

The quartermaster General shall provide each company with arms and equipments; and they may adopt their own Uniform.

The company officers and privates are each allowed one dollar a day for every day actually on duty, at any parade, required by law, the regimental officers two dollars, and Brigadier Generals and Brigade Inspectors three dollars each.  Companies shall consist of not less than thirty-two nor more than one hundred persons.  A brigade encampment is to be held for two days in the month of September in every year.

The remaining sections of the bill prescribe the duties of the respective officers, the details for organizing companies, battalions, regiments, brigades and divisions, &c., and the necessary minutiae for effectively carrying out the provisions of the bill.

– Published in The Davenport Daily Gazette, Davenport, Iowa, Tuesday Morning, March 25, 1862, p. 2

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