The Military bill.
The Virginia House of Delegates is still engaged in the discussion, with closed doors, of the bill for raising and organizing the State
's quota of the Confederate army.--We hope the provisions of the bill will be well considered; for while we are satisfied that what ought to be done in respect to keeping a large army in the field for the war, will be done, and that this army must be furbished from the body of the people by compulsion if necessary, there should be yet some consideration for the volunteers who have bravely stood the brunt of the storm for nearly twelve months past.
It seems to us that some discrimination should be made between them and the militia who have yet seen no service at all. If it be necessary to retain their services, it should not be done in such a way as to ignore the patriotism and self- sacrifice of the 70,000 Virginians
now in the field, and to withhold from them the gratitude to which they are entitled.
The members of the Legislature, themselves exempt by the bill from military service, will doubtless devise some plan which shall meet the exigency and overcome the difficulty.--They are not unaware of the feeling among the volunteers upon this subject, for there is at least one remonstrance against the passage of a law which would return them to the body of the militia without a special recognition of past services.
This document, now before the Legislature, holds the following language, with which we may appropriately close our brief appeal:
We furthermore declare, that while renewing our pledge of devotion to the cause in which we are engaged, we will not, in the event of such an enactment by our State Legislature, serve under the flag of Virginia
, but will enlist under a banner where patriotism is valued, self-sacrifice appreciated, and services acknowledged.
The flag of our Confederacy, bathed in the blood of patriots and consecrated by their devotion, has never yet been dishonored.
Under it we will fight as Virginians
— expatriated Virginians
, if it must be — never as militia.