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Meeting of citizens.

--A meeting, tolerably respectable in point of numbers, assembled at 10 o'clock yesterday morning, in the Hustings Court room, at the City Hall, in pursuance of the following card, from the Mayor, addressed to the ‘"Citizens of Richmond,"’ and published in the papers yesterday morning;

‘ "I earnestly invite you to meet me this morning at ten o'clock at the City Hall, to rales the force called for by the Governor's proclamation as a city guard, and to aid in any other mode in defending the city. The hour of battle and of decision is upon us, victory or disaster is before us, and the result, perhaps, depends upon ourselves, and upon your response to this call. I have the authority of the Governor for saying that arms will be furnished you."

’ At the hour named, the Mayor ascended the rostrum and called the meeting to order. He said it was the first time, officially or otherwise, that he had ever called upon the citizens to assemble on any occasion, and nothing but the exigencies of the times could have induced him on the present occasion. Not only war, but battle itself was at our very doors, and he saw no suspension of business or other indication of preparation to show that our people realized the fact. Preparations should be made for the exigency which we were called on to meet. Business should be suspended. Help was required, that the capital of the Old Dominion and the Southern Confederacy should be preserved. He alluded to the many soldiers who might require assistance, and said that the city was now peopled with every sort of folks, from all the inhabitable parts of the earth, and as it could not be foreseen what they could do in case of a panic, the people should organize to protect themselves from rubbery, murder, &c. It should not be said of him that either as a magistrate or man he had taken no part in the preservation of the city. He had no other means to do so but to call on the citizens themselves, and appeal to their patriotism and hearts. He paid a tribute to the energy and faithfulness of the Governor, and said he had the assurance of. His Excellency that if the citizens should organize, they should be furnished with arms and kept in the city as a Home Guard. He had therefore taken the responsibility of calling the meeting, and he would suggest the name of the venerable Edmund Ruffin, one of the first to take up arms in defence of the South, as secretary of the meeting, believing it would add dignity to the proceedings. Mr. Ruffin was unanimously chosen.

Mr. Mayo then read the following resolutions, which he had prepared as suitable to accomplish the objects proposed by the meeting;

  • 1. Resolved, That in the present pasture of military affairs around this city, it becomes the imperative duty of every good citizens to devote his time, his energies, and his life to the successful preservation of order, and energetic action inference of Richmond.
  • 2. That as the most reliable and efficient means of securing such action on the part of the citizens of Richmond, we hereby agree and pledge ourselves to form a Home Guard, to consist of all citizens over the age of 45, and over 18 and under 18, to be organized, armed, and officered as hereafter agreed on, to act at all times, and under every emergency, as a defensive corps in the city of Richmond, to protect property, preserve order, and sustain the Government.
A gentleman moved to amend the second resolution so as to include all persons exempt by the Legislature or otherwise. Mr. Barus wished the invitation to participate in the defence of the city extended to all, if all were included, the exempts from such service would be voluntary on the part of the individual.--Mr. Richardson objected to any allusion to ages in the resolution. Mr. Peake expressed himself willing to take part in the city's defence.

Finally, the resolutions were passed as originally offered.

On motion of Peyton Johnston, which was adopted--

Resolved, That the Governor of the Commonwealth be requested to issue his proclamation directing the suspension of business in the city of Richmond, after 12 o'clock M., for thirty days, it so long necessary.

On motion of Mr. J. H. Gilmer, which was adopted--

Resolved, That all persons disposed, here present, will proceed to enroll their names, in obedience to the two first of the foregoing resolutions.

Mr. Gilmer said that the Governor had requested Maj. Jos. Selden to stay at the Capital and register the names of all willing to enroll themselves for city defence, no doubt anticipating the move now being made by the meeting.

A resolution having been adopted to meet at 5 o'clock P. M., Mr. Peyton Johnston commenced enrolling the names of parties willing to serve, during which time ‘"the meeting-dispersed"’ rather hastily, without the ceremony of a formal adjournment.

The meeting appointed to take place at five o'clock occurred, but nothing was done, certain proceedings of the City Council relative to raising a battalion, being considered by the participants therein as doing away with the necessity of further action. We have the best reason for saying that the Council consider their action p and will take the earliest occasion to rescind it.

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Peyton Johnston (2)
J. H. Gilmer (2)
Joseph Selden (1)
Ruffin (1)
William H. Richardson (1)
Peake (1)
Mayo (1)
Barus (1)
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