--The bill authorizing the Governor
to commission and arm "Home Guards
" as independent military organizations, provides that they shall be subject to duty under their own officers and only within the limits of their respective counties or corporations.
A majority of the members can adopt such bye-laws for their own government as they see fit, if they are not in conflict with the Constitution of the United States
or of this Commonwealth.
The right is reserved to the Governor
to withdraw the commissions "for good cause." The members are to be of persons over 45 years of age, and therefore not subject to military duty; but who, nevertheless, "are desirous of forming themselves into military companies, for the purpose of protecting the property, homes and lives of the people, and acting in the capacity of 'Home Guards
' in the present crisis"--so the preamble states.
As "Home Guards
" are not to adopt any rules in conflict with the Federal Constitution
, what will they do should Lincoln
determine that that instrument gives him power to come to old Virginia
with his myrmidons to enforce obedience to Black Republican rule?
They cannot oppose him without violating their rules.
In such a contingency they had better not work by any rules.