A PROCLAMATION – BY THE GOVERNOR.
September 18, 1862
A PROCLAMATION – BY THE GOVERNOR.
Wheeling, Va., Sept. 9, 1862.
It is necessary for our defense that immediate steps be taken for a more perfect organization and discipling of the militia [illegible] the several counties in which the authority of the reorganized State Government is recognized.
A small force of rebel cavalry have crossed from the Mountains to the River. They have come among us, not with any expectation of permanently subjecting Virginia to the Letcher Government, but to steal our horses, destroy public and private property, create alarm and confusion, and then escape across the mountains with as much plunder as they can carry away. With a better organization of our militia force, a few resolute men could have driven them in disgrace from our soil.
We shall be constantly liable to these raids until we are prepared to protect ourselves. Every true man without regard to military age, who is able to handle a gun, should enrol[sic] himself in some militia or volunteer company, turn out frequently for drill, until he acquired the necessary knowledge to make himself an effective soldier, whenever his services may be required for the defense of his home; and more than this he should see to it that all his neighbors do the same. We can defend West Virginia. Will we do it?
I do, therefore, require the Commander of every Brigade and Regiment, within the loyal counties, now unorganized, immediately on receipt of this order, to order regimental musters, and proceed to organize by companies, battalions, and regiments, the militia of their respective districts.
Whenever any companies shall have been [complete illegible line]… by the members having gone into the service of the United States, I order such companies to be consolidated, so as to form companies of not less than fifty nor more than one hundred members.
All persons having arms belonging to the state are required to produce them at the Regimental muster and the commanders of the companies will immediately take possession of any State arms known to be in their districts in the hands of any person not enrolled; and use them for arming militia and volunteering companies as my be formed.
It is earnestly requested that all loyal persons in the State, capable of performing military service, without regard to age, will form themselves into volunteer companies without delay; and should there not be State arms enough in the county to supply such volunteers, let them supply themselves, for the occasion, with such guns as can be procured from the private persons. No person not in service, having a fire arm, will object to giving up his gun to be used for the common defense. The commandants of each regiment is required, immediately on the organization of the militia in his district, to report to the Adjutant-General of this State, the number of men enrolled in his regiment, the volunteer companies formed within his district, with the number of men in each, and the number, kind and condition of the arms with which they are supplied, distinguishing those belonging to the State from those belonging to private persons.
Until further orders, the commandant of each regiment will muster his regiment for inspection and drill at least once every four weeks, and the [illegible] of each militia and volunteer company will muster his company for inspection and drill at least once every week.
At each regimental and company muster the roll will be called, absentees marked and returned to the Court of Inquiry held at the time required by law.
FRANCIS H. PIERPOINT.
By the Governor.
HENRY J. SAMUELS, Adj’t. Gen.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: September 1862