The Military bills before the Legislature.
As a matter of general interest to the people of this State, we publish the bills reported, on Friday last, by the joint committee of the two Houses, and now under consideration, having for their object the raising of troops to meet the requisition on Virginia
, by the President
of the Confederate States
This requisition calls for 65,800 men, which, it is confidently believed, will be reduced by re-enlistments to about 38,000.
The principal bill, which is the last, appended, may possibly be amended in some respects; though the indications are that it will pass nearly in its present form:
A bill for ascertaining and enrolling the Military force of the Commonwealth.
- 1. Be it charted by the General Assembly, That immediately after the passage of this act, the Governor shall procure from the commandants of the several regiments, battalions, and detachments of the Virginia volunteers complete rolls of the several company-a now in service, to be returned forthwith to the Adjutant-General of the State, designating the name, age, and residence of each volunteer, the time of his enlistment, and when his term of service will expire, and the company and regiment to which he belongs.
- 2. It shall be the duty of the Governor to cause all the male citizens of the Commonwealth, between the ages of 18 and 45, not now in the active volunteer service, to be enrolled as soon as may be after the passage of this act, including all refugees from districts in possession of the enemy, and designating such of them as have been in service and the term of such service; and he is hereby authorized to prescribe such regulations, in addition to or in lien of those now established by law, as will enable him promptly and efficiently to perform the duty hereby imposed upon him; and to that end he may employ the Commissioners of the Revenue and Sheriffs or Sergeants of the several counties, cities, and towns, or such other officers as to him shall seem expedient and necessary.
In making such enrollment, it shall be the duty of the Governor to ascertain and state the time, If any, for which any of the said militia shall have been in the service of the Confederate States.
If any person liable to military duty shall fail to have his name enrolled by the officer appointed for that purpose for five days after notice or proclamation requiring such enrollment shall have been posted or published at some public place in his ward or magisterial district, he shall, unless there be a sufficient excuse for such failure, be enrolled as drafted among the first levies to be drawn from such county or corporation.
- 4. If any officer shall fail to perform any duty required of him by the Governor under this act, he shall be subject to a fine of not less than — dollars, nor more than — dollars.
- 5. The officers enrolling the militia under this act shall be entitled to a compensation, to be fixed by the Governor, not exceeding ten cents for each person enrolled; and the claims for such compensation shall be paid on the certificate of the Governor.
- 6. This act shall be in force from its passage.
A bill to raise troops to meet the requisition on Virginia of the President of the Confederate States.
- 1.Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That the Governor be and he is hereby directed to proceed, in the manner hereinafter prescribed, to comply as speedily as may be with the recent requisition of the Confederate Government for a portion of Virginia's military quota for the existing war.
That the force hereby authorized to be enlisted shall be organized into companies of not less than eighty non-commissioned officers and privates, and into regiments of ten companies each, and shall be raised by a draft made by lot from the enrolled militia of the State, and apportioned among the several counties, cities and towns other than those held by the enemy, or in which, from any cause, a draft cannot be enforced, ratably to their white population respectively.
But in ascertaining the number of men to be furnished by any county, city or town, as its part of the force hereby required, full credit shall be given for the volunteers now in service from such county, city, or town; and the draft hereby directed shall be suspended or reduced accordingly.
- 3. To facilitate the organization of troops to meet the requisition aforesaid, the Governor, if he shall deem it necessary, shall establish convenient depots or camps as convenient places of rendezvous for their reception and temporary accommodation, where the levies drawn by lot as aforesaid shall be placed for the purpose of organization and of being mustered into service.
- 4. The Governor is hereby authorized to call for and accept volunteers for the whole or any part of the force to be raised by this act, but shall take care that the same be in readiness to take the field at least as early as it would be practicable to place therein, companies or regiments of drafted men.
- 5. Officers of companies, battalions, or regiments shall be of corresponding grade and rank with similar officers in the army of the Confederate States, and shall be as follows: for a company, one captain and not less than two nor more than three lieutenants (except as hereinafter, provided,) to be elected by the company; and five sergeants and four corporals, to be appointed by the captain or commandant; for a battalion, one major, and for a regiment, a colonel, lieutenant-colonel, and major, to be elected by the commissioned officers of companies.
Staff officers of regiments to be appointed by the colonels.
All commissioned officers of companies, battalions, or regiments, shall be commissioned by the Governor under the great seal of the Commonwealth.
- 6. Artillery companies, whether heretofore or hereafter organized, may be equipped as light batteries of six pieces each, containing not more than one hundred and fifty men, rank and file; and whenever any such company shall number not less than one hundred and twenty men, rank and file, it shall be entitled to an additional second; lieutenant, to be elected by the company, and commissioned by the Governor, and in any artillery company heretofore organized and accepted by the Governor, be shall be authorized to commission the officers thereof of corresponding rank and grade with the same arm of service in the Confederate States; and to effect this object, he may recall the commissions now held by the officers thereof, and issue in their stead commissions as of the same date, conferring the proper rank and grade.
- 7. That upon any future requisition of the Confederate Government for the residue of Virginia's military quota aforesaid, not embraced under the provisions of this act, it shall be the duty of the Governor to proceed in the manner and upon the principles herein before prescribed, to draft the requisite force from the militia of the State not then in actual service.
- 8. Any person volunteering or drafted under this act, may furnish at any time before he shall be mustered into the service of the Confederate States an able-bodied man, well clothed, who shall be accepted as his substitute, if tendered for the war; but the person furnishing such substitute shall perform ordinary militia duty during the absence of his substitute; and should such substitute, while thus engaged for another, be himself drafted, shall be required to take his place or furnish another substitute on the same terms.
- 9. All acts and ordinances of whatever description, and all parts of the same in conflict with this act, are hereby repealed.
- 10. This act shall be in force from its passage.
The bill for enrolling the troops passed the House
The second bill engaged the attention of both Houses at the night session, and some amendments were proposed, but the subject was not disposed of. It is quite evident that there is a lack of nerve in the Legislative Assembly
, at a time when prompt and energetic action is required.--Still, it is to be hoped that not many more days will be wasted in debate which tends to injure, rather than benefit, the cause in which we are engaged, as well as the objects contemplated by the bill.