previous next

The War!
the enrollment of the militia at Washington-scenes at the Armories.

We subjoin some further particulars of the mustering into service of the volunteers of the District of Columbia for the defence of the Capital, which commenced on Wednesday and was continued Thursday. The following is the oath administered to each man:

‘ "I, -- --, do solemnly swear that I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America; that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all enemies or opposers whatsoever; that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States, and of the officers appointed over me, according to the rules of the armies of the United States: so help me God."

’ Some interesting and amusing scenes occurred in the administration of the oath to the men. We make up from the Star of Thursday evening the following:

Company A, of the Union Regiment, Capt. Carrington, 100 men, having been drawn up in line north of the Department building, were inspected by Inspector General Stone, after which Major McDowell, U. S. A., called the roll. The oath was then read, and the men were ordered to hold up the right hand, ungloved, and repeat the words of the oath. Ten or twelve of the men having refused to take the oath, because they were unwilling to be ordered out of the District, were told by the Inspector General that there was no probability of their being so ordered, when they consented unanimously to be sworn in.

The sixty volunteers from the Washington Light Infantry were next ordered up, when the same forms were gone through with.--Eighteen or twenty of these men refused to take the oath; the others were sworn in, and the company left the ground in two divisions; the enlisted men in one body, and the malcontents in another, each having an officer to march them to the armory.

The Potomac Light Infantry, of Georgetown, Capt. McKenney, next took their position, numbering 53 rank and file, much less than the effective strength of the company.--After roll call, and when the oath was to be administered, sixteen privates, a sergeant, and the pioneer, "seceded" from the ranks. This left the company with less than their complement, (42.) None were sworn in, and, after consultation among the officers, the company was formed in two divisions, one of "willing" and one of "unwilling" spirits, and the former taking the North and the latter the South side of Pennsylvania avenue, they proceeded towards Georgetown at a double quick.

The Carrington Home Guards, of Georgetown, Capt. Goddard-- 54 rank and file — were the last on the ground. Being mostly heads of families, many were unwilling to take the oath of unconditional obedience, for fear they might be ordered out of the District; and the same feeling seems to have prompted some of the disappointed ones in other companies.--Those unwilling to take the oath were ordered outside the company, to the left of the line. Six or eight went to the left. Some, who said their business avocations would not permit them to enlist, did not want to take the oath, and did not want to take a position with the "seceders." Major McDowell told them to take a position to the right of the line, then; when almost a majority of the company seemed to have a press of business on their hands, as they immediately withdrew to the right, leaving 27 in line. Most of the left-hand men also seemed to consider that the most reputable side, and came over to the right-hand men, leaving on the left only about three stern and unyielding. "non-swearers." So the Carrington Home Guards went home, unsworn.

Some of the Georgetown men complain that they knew nothing of having to take an oath or the form of oath, until their arrival at the War Department. Considerable excitement prevailed in Georgetown all day yesterday and last night, and is unabated this morning.

This morning at 9 o'clock, the Metropolitan Rifles, Capt. Nalley, Lieuts. Chauncey and Lewis, 5 sergeants, 4 corporals and 60 privates, mustered at the War Department and reported for duty.

At the same hour, company B, Union regiment, Capt. Kelley, Lts. Herbert, Hines and McMillan, 4 sergeants, 3 corporals and 65 privates, also mustered at the same place and reported for service. This company, together with Carrington's corps, numbers 175 men all told, and owe much of their efficiency to the military enterprise not only of the company officers, but also to their Major. J. Gray Jewell, who has taken no small interest in them since their organization. A few minutes afterwards the Turner Rifles, Capt. Gerhardt, Lieuts. Brown, Dilli and Scamberger, 5 sergeants, 4 corporals, 4 drummers, and 68 privates, arrived at the Department, and took position for inspection.

At 10½ o'clock the Washington Rifles, Capt. Balbeck, Lieuts. Leoffler and Haap, 4 Ser'gt., 4 corporals, and 59 privates, arrived on the ground, and took position on the right of the line, and reported for inspection.

Company B, Union regiment, having been duly inspected, had the usual oath administered to them by Major General Thomas, and not a member refused to take it. The Metropolitan Rifles were next inspected and enrolled, and every member of the corps took the required oath. The Washington Rifles were next inspected and mustered into the service, and every man in the line took the required oath.

[It ought to be remarked here that Major McDowell, before enrolling the several companies, informed them that they were mustered into the United States service for three months, unless discharged from service prior to the expiration of that term; and that their services were required within the limits of the District of Columbia.]

The Turner Rifles were then inspected by Major McDowell, and enrolled into service. Every man in this company also came promptly forward when called upon to take the oath of allegiance.

At 12 o'clock M. the Putnam Rifles, Capt., Thistleton, Lieuts. Magruder, McElfresh, and Boyce, two drummers, one fifes, five sergeants, four corporals, and 70 privates, arrived at the War Department. They were enrolled into the service, and took the oath to a man, next in order after the Turner Rifles. The Putnam Rifles (Seventh Ward) volunteered their services, it will be remembered, as they were not called into service.

As we go to press the Washington Light Infantry, the Mechanic Union Rifles, (Captain Rutherford,) and other companies, are on their way to the Department for enrollment.

Creative Commons License
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.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (4)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
McDowell (4)
Carrington (3)
Thomas (1)
Thistleton (1)
Stone (1)
Scamberger (1)
Rutherford (1)
Nalley (1)
McMillan (1)
McKenney (1)
McElfresh (1)
Magruder (1)
Lewis (1)
Leoffler (1)
Kelley (1)
J. Gray Jewell (1)
Hines (1)
Herbert (1)
Haap (1)
Goddard (1)
Gerhardt (1)
Dilli (1)
Chauncey (1)
William H. Brown (1)
Boyce (1)
Balbeck (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: