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(title page) Special Report of the Military Board, to the Legislature of the State of Louisiana.
Louisiana. Military Board. 5 p.
J. M. Taylor, State Printer
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Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998
LC Subject Headings:
To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the General Assembly of the State of Louisiana:
The subject of the Militia and its reorganization, referred to the Military Board, has received our serious consideration; and although there would be no difficulty in forming a law which would make a formidable Military force of it on paper, it would be a very different thing when put in the field.
All Militia systems, as far as we can learn, have, to a great extent, failed in the United States to produce any good result, except in so far as they have tended to encourage and support the formation of Volunteer corps, and as a general thing they have fallen into disrepute and the laws become dead letters.
We have found it impossible to submit a bill in detail to cover the whole Subject, and doubt the policy of doing so, as many of the members of your Honorable Bodies are much better qualified for that purpose. The following suggestions, however, are submitted with a hope that they may prove advantageous if incorporated into our system, and all laws inconsistent therewith repealed:
1st. The Militia should be made to include all white male inhabitants from eighteen to fifty-five years, divided into two classes--active and sedentary--the former to include all from eighteen to forty and subject to call for any duty, the latter, those above forty and only subject to duty within their parishes.
2nd. The Assessors of Taxes should be required to enroll those liable to Militia duty annually, and make duplicate rolls, one to be sent to the Adjutant General of the State, and the other deposited in the office of the Recorders of the parish, where it shall be kept subject to inspection; the accounts of the Assessors not to be settled until they present receipts for these rolls, and a penalty of $1,000 to be imposed for a failure to obey this section.
3rd. Each parish to be a separate Militia District, and the force therein to be formed into Companies, Batalions, Regiments, Brigades and Divisions,
as the strength may require. All officers above the grade of Captain to be appointed by the Governor; the field officers to lay off their Company Districts, and hold elections for company officers and report to the Governor through the Adjutant General.
4th. The Militia should only be required to turn out by a special order of the Commander in Chief. In consideration of this exemption a capitation tax of fifty cents should be imposed on each Militia man not a member of any Volunteer company, which should go to form a Military Fund, to be devoted exclusively to the support of such companies as have been or may be formed under the regulations adopted by the Military Board.
5th. The formation of Volunteer Companies in each parish should be continued by the issue of proper arms, etc., and by liberal appropriations from the Military Fund. All Volunteer officers should take precedence of other Militia officers of same grade without reference to dates of commissions. Volunteer Companies should be required to parade for drill at least twice a month, and only draw a quota of the Military Fund in proportion to the number who attend these drills, certified reports thereof being made to the Adjutant General.
6th. The Governor to be Commander-in-Chief of the Militia, with power to establish all necessary regulations not inconsistent with law. The staff to consist of one Adjutant and Inspector General and five Aid-de-Camps.
7th. The Adjutant and Inspector General should have, the rank of Brigadier General, and a compensation of $3,000 a year, to reside and hold his office at the seat of government, to be the depository of all military records of the State, and have the general control, under the supervision of the Governor, of the Militia system. He should be allowed an Assistant with the rank of Captain, with a compensation of $1,000 a year, who shall act in his absence. He should at least once a year visit and inspect each Volunteer Company in the State, his actual expenses to be refunded, and report to the Governor, on the 1st of January in each year, on the general condition of their discipline, arms, etc., and progress in instruction, and make such suggestions as may seem proper for the improvements of the system.
8th. Accurate Muster Rolls of all Volunteer Companies should be made at least twice a year, in order that the Commander-in-Chief may be kept advised of the force subject to his order.
9th. Full power to call out the Militia and Volunteers should be conferred on the Governor, and when called into service, he should be authorized to consolidate them into Regiments, Brigades and Divisions, and to appoint the necessary officers for the command of the higher organization and also for the staff duties incident thereto.
10th. Such military code as shall exist in our Confederate Government for the trial and punishment of offences should be applied to the military
forces of the State, and the Commander-in Chief and other officers should be clothed with the same authority as corresponding grades to order Courts, and approve, and execute sentences.
11th. The Military Academy at Alexandria should be fostered by liberal appropriations from the State, as a source from which our military strength and power is to be drawn. The State of Virginia, by a wise course of this kind towards her Military Institute, has in the last twenty years become a great military power.
12th. The Board cannot close the report without specially referring to the valuable assistance it has received from Adjutant General M. Grivot. He has labored with great zeal and efficiency in carrying into effect the orders of the Board, and has acted as its disbursing agent and ordnance officer, duties which did not pertain to his office and which he has discharged at much personal inconvenience and sacrifice.
13th. All the duties which have been discharged by this Board can now be devolved with great propriety upon the General and staff officer recently appointed, and we would suggest that the transfer be made.
14th. By Adjutant General M. Grivot, who has acted as disbursing officer, we send herewith a statement of expenditures with accompanying vouchers.
THOS. O. MOORE,
President of the Military Board.
P. O. HEBERT,
DANIEL W. ADAMS.