The steady and gallant conduct of the militia of Virginia
on every occasion in which their services have been demanded, is one of the most noticeable features of this contest, and is an element of defensive strength which cannot be overrated.
The militia of Petersburg
, of Richmond
, of Lynchburg
, of the Staunton river
, of the Valley
, have fought like veterans, and have actually beaten superior numbers of regular troops.
In but one battle, that in the Valley
, have they been defeated, and that was not their fault.
All accounts concur that they fought bravely to the last in that unfortunate fight.
We have always regarded the sneers at the militia as undeserved, and the use of the slang term "melish" is ridiculous in the extreme.
They are now a disciplined as well as heroic body of men. When it is necessary to call them into the field, and they are commanded by good officers, they will prove themselves equal to any troops in the service.