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Headquarters Reserve forces of Virginia,
Richmond, August 13, 1864.

    General orders, no. 21.

  1. I. In pursuance of General Orders, No. 63, issued from the Adjutant and Inspector general's Office August 6th, 1864, companies for local defence are hereby authorized and required to be organized in each county and corporation of the State. As soon as practicable the appointment of a competent person to organize and permanently command the local forces of each county and corporation will be announced. Application for such appointment, with suitable references and recommendations, should be addressed without delay to these headquarters. The commander of a local force of four companies will have the rank of Major; of six companies, the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel; of ten companies, Colonel. If the whole local force of a county or corporation be less than four companies, it will be consolidated with the local force of some contiguous county.
  2. II. The persons appointed to organize and command the local forces will be authorized to select suitable men to raise companies within the limits of their respective counties and corporations. No company will be accepted with less than forty men, rank and file, nor until a complete muster-roll of the company shall have been forwarded to these headquarters. Blank muster-rolls can be obtained upon application at these headquarters, or to any reserve rendezvous commander in the State. None but detailed men and exempts will be enrolled in the companies.
  3. III. The companies organized under this order are designed to be employed in repelling raids and sudden incursions of the enemy. They will not be called out except in emergencies occurring in or near the counties to which they belong, nor will they be required to perform any service except within the limits of their respective counties and of counties contiguous thereto.
  4. IV. All detailed men, unless specially excepted, including those between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, as well as those of the reserve class, are required, and will be compelled, to enroll themselves as members of the companies; and upon their failure to enroll themselves promptly, upon being notified so to do, their details will be revoked and they will be appropriately assigned for active duty among the forces serving in the field.
  5. V. All men who are exempt from military service and capable of bearing arms will be accepted as volunteer members of the companies, and they are earnestly invited to enroll themselves for the defence of their homes.
  6. VI. The term of service of the companies will be the unexpired period of the war. The term of service of detailed men will be the terms of their respective details.
  7. VII. The local forces will be drilled, either by companies or squads, weekly; and there shall be at least one company drill in each month.
  8. VIII. Enrolling officers throughout the State are enjoined diligently to co-operate in the formation of the companies.
By command of Brigadier-General Kemper.
R. H. Catlett,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

Abingdon Virginian, Lynchburg Republican, Petersburg Express, Danville Register, Rockingham Register, and Staunton Vindicator, will copy one week and send bills to Major Young, General Kemper's Quartermaster.

au 16--6t

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R. H. Catlett (1)
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