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An Act Authorizing the Civil War Militia in New York

This information is from Vol. I, pp. 8-9 of A Record of the Commissioned Officers, Non-commissioned Officers and Privates, of the Regiments which were organized in the State of New York and called into the service of the United States to assist in supressing the rebellion caused by the secession of some of the Southern States from the Union, A. D. 1861, as taken from the Muster-in Rolls on file in the Adjutant General's Office, S. N. Y., (Albany, N. Y.: Comstock & Cassidy, Printers, 1864). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 973.7 N531, and page images may be viewed at the University of Michigan's Making of America project project and Google Books.

An Act

To authorize the embodying and equipment of a Volunteer Militia, and to provide for the public defense.

Passed April 16, 1861.

The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:

Section 1. The governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, comptroller, attorney-general, state engineer and surveyor, and state treasurer, or a majority of them, are hereby authorized and empowered to accept the service, and to cause to be enrolled and mustered into the service of the state, for two years unless sooner discharged by the order of the said officers above named, volunteers in their discretion as to the number, not to exceed thirty thousand men, to be officered, organized and equipped in such manner as the said officers, or a majority of them, may order and direct, and to be formed and organized without regard to existing military districts; the said force hereby authorized being in addition to the present military organization of the state, and a part of the militia thereof.

§ 2. The officers of such organization of volunteers shall be elected and appointed in the manner prescribed by section two of article eleven of the Constitution of the state, and commissioned by the governor, and he is hereby authorized and empowered to prescribe such rules and regulations as he may deem proper to carry out the provisions of such article of the Constitution relative to election and appointment; provided, however, that when any vacancy shall occur among such volunteers while they are absent from the state, the governor is hereby authorized and empowered to appoint and to commission the requisite officers to fill such vacancies.

§ 3. The officers and men of the said force shall receive the same pay and rations, while in service under the provisions of this act, as officers and men of the same rank and arm of service in the army of the United States, and shall be liable at all times to be turned over to the service of the United States, on the order of the governor, as a part of the militia of this state, upon the requisition of the president of the United States.

§ 4. The officers and men of the said force, except when in actual service, shall be paid only for the time actually spent in their organization, drilling and instruction.

§ 5. The captains of the respective companies organized by virtue of this act, except when in the actual service of the general government, shall make monthly returns of the service performed by all the members thereof, to the colonel of the regiment. The said colonel shall make like returns of the service of the regiment, based upon the said company returns, and the service of the regimental officers, to the adjutant general; and the comptroller, on the certificate of the paymaster-general, shall draw his warrant upon the treasurer in favor of the respective regimental paymasters therefor; and the paymasters of the respective regiments, before entering upon the duties of their office, shall enter into a bond to the people of the state, in such sum as the governor shall direct, and with such sureties as he shall approve, to be evidenced by his indorsing his approval on such bond, conditioned for the faithful application, according to law, of all moneys he shall receive by virtue of his office; and which bond shall be filed in the office of the comptroller, and in case of breach, prosecuted under his direction by the attorney-general.

§ 6. All expenditures for arms, supplies or equipments necessary for the said force shall be made under the direction of the governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, comptroller, attorney-general, state engineer and surveyor, and state treasurer, or a majority of them, and the moneys therefor shall, on the certificate of the governor, be drawn from the treasury on the warrant of the comptroller, in favor of such person or persons as shall from time to time be designated by the governor.

§ 7. The force hereby created, when called into actual service, shall be subject to all the rules and articles applicable to the troops in the service of the United States, but no volunteers under this act shall be discharged from service anywhere except in the county where they were organized, unless by his or their request.

§ 8. The sum of three millions of dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated out of any moneys in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, to defray the expenditures authorized by this act, or any other expenses of mustering the militia of this state, or any part thereof, into the service of the United States.

§ 9. There shall be imposed for the fiscal year commencing on the first day of October, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, a state tax for such sum as the comptroller shall deem necessary to meet the expenses hereby authorized, not to exceed two mills on each dollar of the valuation of real and personal property in this state, to be assessed, raised, levied, collected, and paid in the same manner as the other state taxes are levied, assessed, collected and paid into the treasury.

§ 10. This act shall take effect immediately.

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http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/military/civilwar/mr/militia_act.html updated September 21, 2010

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