This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 seemed very long at that time, they had had ample time for thorough drilling before taking the field; but the terrible battles of the spring of 1862 had speedily thinned off their ranks. It is true that the recruiting-office of every regiment was always open to those who were desirous of enlisting for three years and of joining the regiments already organized, but these means were not sufficient to maintain the army on a war-footing. During the month of June, after the battle of Fair Oaks, the evacuation of Corinth and the campaign in the valley of Virginia, when the Federal armies were decimated by sickness both before Richmond and in the swampy posts of the West, this insufficiency had to be remedied. This remedy could only be found in a new call for troops, and by offering greater inducements to volunteers than before. The governors of eighteen States, conforming to the popular will, united in recommending this measure to the President; they offered him their co-operation in a letter dated June 28, 1862, the day when tidings were received of the commencement of the great struggle sustained by the army of the Potomac before Richmond. On the 1st of July, Mr. Lincoln hastened to reply to these patriotic offers, stating that he should call upon them for three hundred thousand men, and Congress immediately passed a resolution legalizing this call, and enabling the government to fill up the weakened cadres of the armies in the field. This resolution became a law on the 17th of July. It authorized the President on one hand to levy new regiments of volunteers, not to exceed one hundred thousand men, for nine months only, and on the other hand, to fill up the vacancies in the old regiments by means of enlistments for twelve months. It was naturally hoped that by thus shortening the term of service men would be stimulated to enlist. This law went much further; it established two important principles, which, although a dead letter at first, found application at a later period. In view of the possible invasion of some of the free States by the Southern armies, this law authorized the President, whenever he should deem proper, to call out the militia of those States, as he had a right to do in such contingency, and to muster it into service for a period not exceeding nine months; and if voluntary enlistments should not suffice, it conferred upon him the power to complete the requisite number
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.