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Militia of the United States.
State or Territory who furnish them, and the would be exempt from the services required by limits of an adjoining State or Territory, with this bill, which would reduce the whole number the exception of Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsyl- of men to be brought into the field, as I have vania, and Virginia. Sir, I have always imagined stated, 10 109,000. The tenth section provides that the United States composed one great family for the supposition contained in it, that more than for the purposes of national defence; that if an men enough to fill the regular army may be enemy should invade the State of Maryland, and raised for the war under the provisions of this bill. the forces of the militia of Massachusetis were ne- That I imagine, sir, is a supposition which it is cessary to repel such invasion, that we were scarely necessary to provide for; but it is to be bound to afford our aid, and so vice versa; but, remembered, that should the idea be realized, it is sir, if the Senate are tenacious of retaining the calculated to reduce the number of men contemprinciples of this section, I must submit to their plated for the field the next campaign, to the decision.
amount of one-third of the whole number conThe eighth section of the bill I consider to be tained in the surplus so raised, and consequently, necessary and proper.
instead of your having 109,000 men-which I must In the ninth section of the bill it is provided, agree, according to the principles of the first secthat any three classes which will furnish two tion of the bill, is an adequate number—do man men for the war, shall be exempt from the mili- can divine how far below that number your force tia duty required by the bill. Here I must be per- is to be reduced, by the very uncertain operation mitted, sir, to ask gentlemen if this provision does of this bill
. Sir, while I am upon this part of the not come in direct contact with your recruiting subject, permit me again to revert to the third secservice for the war? Your men which you may tion of the bill, which is, in a considerable degree, calculate on recruiting for the war are shrewd, connected with it. That section, in violation of calculating men, and the moment this bill shall be the principles of the law of 1795, which I have published they will have an eye to the bounty quoied and which is now in force, and been uniwhich they may acquire from the classes, in ad formly practised upon from the passage of the law dition to that given hy the public; and, sir, will to this time, subjects all the militiamen who have not this retard, if not tirely suspend the recruit- rendered service in the present war, be it ever so ing service for the war, until ii shall be ascer- eminent, to the same chance of the draught, as it tained what bounty can be obtained from the does those who have never rendered any service, classes? I apprehend that it will, sir; and if totally subverting the precious principle of that that should prove to be the case, the supension law which provides for a general rotation of serwill be attended with very inconvenient, if not vice: and, sir, this vital error in the bill seems to fatal consequences. The bill allows the States be acknowledged by the same sectiou, inasmuch or Territories three months to furnish the men in as it goes on to provide that all former services their own way; if not so furnished within that pe- shall be deducted from the term of service for riod, it contemplates that, if the classification takes which they may be draughted under this bill. place, the classes are allowed twenty days to pro- Well, sir, what becomes of the permanency of the cure the man by contract before the draught can troops to be raised under the bill? Why, sir, it take place; then, sir, allowing that the men are vanishes like a vapor, and leaves no real substance to be classed immediately upon the transmission behind. The militiamen which are made subject of the bill to the States and Territories, (which I to this draught, and which have rendered services, can by no means conceive will be the case,) the are many ; probably some of them may have recruiting service for the war and the operations served for two years, and some for eighteen of this bill are postponed for at least one hundred months. And I know, sir, that many of them and ten days before you commence the operation have served for one year, some for nine, six, and of law for filling the ranks of the regular army, or three months. Then you go on to make your for the detachment from the militia provided for organization upon the principles of the bill, your by the bill, which will carry you far into April, officers are all detailed to command the delach.' when in fact the situation of the country requires ment, according to the principles of the organizathat the regular army should be filled, and the tion. It may appear that some of the men de. militia contemplated by this act organized and tached have already served for two years; they ready to take the field, before the commencement must immediately be discharged, some must do of the operation of the one or the other system. doubt be discharged in six movihs, and I know But, sir, if all the effects contemplated by the that many must be discharged at the end of one friends to this bill, in regard to filling the ranks year, at the end of eighteen months, and at the of the regular army, should be realized, what end of twenty-one months. Thus, sir, the per. would be the consequence? Why, sir, instead of manency of your establishment will be gradually the force of 142,000 men, contemplaied by the reduced as it relates to the men; but no provision committee as the necessary force with which you is made for reducing the officers in the same proought to open the next campaign, you have 109,- portion. No, sir, they are to remain in the ser000 only; for, sir
, taking it for granted, that we vice, and consequently in the pay of the nation, have now only 40,000 regular troops in the field, until the end of the term for which they were 22,000 is wanting to fill up that establishment; detailed, unless the President of the United States consequently, if 22,000 men should be procured by should undertake to discharge them, without imthe classes pointed out in this bill, 33,000 classes' puting 10 them any fault within their power to
SENATE. control, which I should not imagine would be have in view. In its most prominent features, I likely to take place. This is the pretended sys. conceive that every discerning eye, not a member tem of permanency in your Military Establish- of this Senate, will, at first view, perceive the ment, reduced
the bill itself to insignificance most manifest injustice exhibited to individuals and uncertainty. Besides, sir, it is provided that of the militia—they are indiscriminately to be the officer making the draught shall make report subjected to the draught for two years, whatever to the Department of War of all persons draught may be their situation or circumstances in life. ed by him, who have performed a tour of duty Those who have heretofore rendered services specified in the act. But who is the officer who have the miserable consolation only, of being told, is to make this return to the Secretary of War ? that their former term of service shall be deductI fiod no officer designated to make the draught; ed from the two years, while the honorable prin. consequently none can be authorized to make re- ciple of rotation, now existing by law, is totally turn to the Secretary of War. It must therefore disregarded. And inasmuch as the militia, not be left with the classes to do it, in which case a possessing more than one-third of the property of correspondence of eighty thousand may be opened, the nation, are called on to furnish all the pecuand in all probability of not less than iwenty piary means of procuring the men, if procured thousand will be opened belween the classes and by contract; and all others, possessing two-thirds the Secretary of War upon this particular sub- of the property of the nation, and not subject to ject, when according to the mode of raising the be called on to render personal service, are entirely men which I have had the honor to name, should exonerated from the burdens of this draught. it be adopted, each captain would be under obli And, sir, notwithstanding the high, unusual gation to make this statement in his return, ground which it assumes to take, I must confess through the proper channel, to the Governors. ibat in my opinion it has sowo in it the seeds of The Governors might direct the adjutant generals its own destruction, which are so deep rooted, to make out an abstract of these returns from the that I imagine they cannot fail to effect that obé captains, and transmit it to the Secretary o! War,ject. It dispenses with all the responsibility of which would open with him a lille over iwenty your principal militia officers, as has been before correspondents, instead of at least twenty thou- observed; it inflicts no penalty on the classes for sand. And for my own part, sir, I cannot see omitting to raise men for the war, for omitting why the Governors of the States and Territories to raise men by contract, nor for omitting to raise should not be vested with the authority of deci- them by draught; and as no officer or other perding this question, without troubling the Secre- son is authorized to make the draught, besides the tary of War with'it, upon their being responsible classes, I consider the whole system as resolving for the return being made of their doings to the into a recommendation, upon the patriotism of the Secretary of War, for the information of the States and Territories, and upon the patriotism General Government.
of the classes, which I am apprehensive must fail Sir, I have thought it my duty to point out to of furnishing you eighty thousand men. The the Senate my own ideas of what I conceive to system, therefore, appears to me to be inefficient, be errors, both in principle and detail, contained and totally incompetent to effect the object which in the bill. If it should pass the Senate in its I am sure the Senate have in view. Mr. Presipresent form, I shall very much regret it. dent, from the view which I have taken of this
I should be extremely sorry to give my vote subject, I think the Senate must perceive that it against any measure calculated to promote the is impracticable for me to vote in favor of it in object of general defence; but, sir, I do not con- its present shape. Unless it shall undergo a radceive that this bill is calculated to further that ical change in its principles and details, I must object in the most desirable and practicable vote against the bill
Mr. Daggert, of Connecticut, addressed the I do consider, sir, that the bill commences with Chair as follows: unusual and arbitrary principles, never before al Mr. President: By this bill, the President is tempted to be imposed on the militia of this coun- authorized to call upon the several States and try since its first settlement by civilized man.
Territories for their respective quotas of 80,430 'It appears 10 me, sir, as I have endeavored to militia, to serve for two years, unless sooner disshow, that it contains principles of the most deadly charged. They are to constitute part of the reg. hostility to the correct military principles, now ular Army of the United States, and to be treated in practice in the militia, for raising men for pub- in every respect as such, with the exception that lic service. It dispenses with the responsibility they cannot be compelled to serve beyond the of the principal militia officers in raising men, and limits of the State or Territory furnishing them, thereby leaves the Government at all times in a and the limits of an adjoining State or Territory, state of entire uncertainty relative to the number and that the officers are to be appointed by the engaged for the service. It is an extremely impol- State or Territorial authorities. The object of itic measure, inasmuch as it takes new and unex- this force is declared to be “the defence of the plored ground for its basis, which may, and I frontiers of the United States.” [The words at presume will, be disgusting to the people, at a the end of the title, “ against invasion,” were iime, too, when their most cordial co-operation inserted after the bill had passed.] with the Government is eminently necessary, to The principle is assumed, that Congress may enable you to effeci the great object which you I by law, order the militia of the several State
NOVEMBER, 1814. into the service of the United States, to defend just meaning of the clause. Again : "The Prestheir frontiers and garrison their fortresses for ident shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Army two years, or for any other definite period, or dur-l' and Navy of the United States, and of the mili. ing the war, provided the country is invaded, or ' tia of the several States, when called into the in immineni danger of invasion. This country, actual service of the United States.” In these while engaged in war with any nation which can articles of the Constitution, Congress and the send either fleets or armies against it, will always President are everywhere limited, and everywhere be in such condition, and consequently the mili- the power of the States is apparent. The militia are subject to the control of Congress. There tia cannot be called forth as a regular army at all is no limit, say the advocates of this law, to the - they may be called as a militia. They cannot power of Congress over the militia, in time of be trained or officered, in any case, except under war, except that they must be officered by the the authority of the States, nor commanded even States. À conscription is thus justified. "It is by the President, except when called forth in the openly avowed by the same gentlemen as proper, exigencies specified. Who can discover in these just, and legal. I think these conclusions are provisions a pretence for assertiog that the milifairly deduced from the premises. If the power tia are constitutionally subjected to the general of this Government over the militia is in time of control of Congress ? war unlimited, it does indeed follow, that the free But, sir, to prove the constitutionality of this men of this country, who are subject to the duties bill, ils friends rely on those clauses which give of militiamen, may be converted into soldiers of to Congress the right "to raise and support the Army of the United States during the war, or armies" and " to provide for calling forth the mifor any definite period. The exception that they litia in the cases mentioned." These are distinct shall not be obliged to go from the State, or an and independent powers and are always so conadjoining State, is a matter of form, and not of sidered. "If the first gave to Congress any auright. They may be ordered to Canada, or 10 thority over the militia as such, it gave a geneany more remote region. But, sir, this whole doc- ral authority, and if so, the subsequent provisions trine is unconstitutional; it is an outrage, upon regarding them, are worse than useless-they its face and its principles and provisions, upon the tend only to perplex and bewilder. The truth undoubted rights of freemen, and upon the char- is, this clause has no reference to the militia any ter of our liberties."
more than to physicians, lawyers, or merchants. That the powers of this Government are lim- It authorizes Congress to raise and support ar. ited—that ihose not granted are reserved-are mies, in a manner and by means consistent with positions sanctioned by an amendment to the Con- the great principles of civil liberty, known to the stitution, and universally admitted. The entire people of this country, and adopted and deemed control over the militia, previous to the adoption sacred in all free Governments. But it is utterly of the Constitution, was in the States. All that inconsistent with those pripciples to compel any control, except what has been delegated to the man to become a soldier for life, during a war, United States, remains. There is no article in or for any fixed time. In Great Britain, a warthe Constitution delegating a general power.like nation, a nation often the theme of reproach Every word employed on the subject shows that here for the tyranny of the Government, no such it is limited. Congress shall bave power to pro- practice is, or can be resorted to; the people
vide for calling forth the militia to execute the would revolt at it; they would shake a throne ' laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and which should attempt it. It is alike odious here, repel invasions." Why give power to call and I hope it will remain so. forth the militia in those exigencies, if the en It is said, however, that the nation is invaded; tire authority over them was elsewhere given ? a case of invasion-a specified case exists, and, The absurdiiy is too apparent to admit of argu. by the second mentioned power, the militia may ment or illustration. “Again : "Congress shall be called forth. It is true the militia may be have power to provide for organizing, arming, called forth to “repel invasions.” It cannot esand discipliniog, the militia, and for governing cape observation, that the words employed by the such part of them as may be employed in the Constitution, "to repel invasions," seem quite uaservice of the United States, reserving to the like the words in this bill, " for the defence of States, respectively, the appointment of the offi- the frontiers," still less are they descriptive of cers, and ihe authority of training the militia, the object for which the gentlemen are obliged according to the discipline prescribed by Con- to contend the militia may be called forth. They 'gress.” In other language, it may provide for declare that so long as there is invasion or imarranging them into companies, baitalioos, regi- minent danger of invasion, and this will be our ments, brigades, and divisions.' It may provide condition during the existence of the war, the that they shall be armed, and the manner in which militia may be converted into an army for the it shall be done-prescribe the discipline to be pur- defence of the country, and support the war. sued, and make laws for governing them while in Why did not the great, wise, and good men, as that service of the United States, to which they they are justly characterized by the gentleman might be called forth, in the cases before speci- from Virginia, (Mr. Giles.) use language exfied. All this Congress may do, lo establish that pressive of such an idea ? Why did they not say, uniformity and order which are so essential 10 a lihat in time of war, Congress shall have power to well-regulated militia. This is the obvious and provide for calling forth ihe militia to support it ?
Militia of the United States.
Again, sir, the militia may be called forth to no bounty, either in land or money. He is to rerepel invasions, to execute the laws of the Union, ceive his clothing, subsistence, and eight dollars and to suppress insurrections. These occasions per month; not more than half the sum to be obare, with good reasons, joined. In their nature, iained by laboring peacefully in the ordinary upon the soundest and fairest definitions, they are occupations at home. It will be readily seen, emergencies, sudden and unexpected, and there that while the United State give a bounty of fore incapable of being met by a regular army. three hundred and twenty acres of land, as is The wisdom of the Convention dictated provision established in the bill which has just passed the in case of such occurrences. To make such pro- Senate, and one hundred and twenty-four dollars vision by a standing army, always to be dreaded, in money, no substitute can be obtained for less and the subject of unceasing reprobation by the than two hundred and fifty or three hundred dolpeople of the United States, would have been lars. Seven of the militia, in this view of the unwise and impracticable. These were the subject, are compelled to pay from thirty to forty views of the venerable men who formed and dollars each, or one of their number is to become adopted the Constitution. It never entered their a soldier for two years, while the wealthy exminds, that in providing to repel invasions and empt is no otherwise affected than he is obliged, suppress insurrections, and to execute the laws, with them, to bear his proportion of public taxes; they were furnishing the nation with the means and thus on twenty thousand, of the least affluent of sustaining a war, especially an offensive war. part of the community, a burden is imposed of In this light was the subject considered in the about $75,000. The officer, also, who is appointState conventions, and had the doctrines here ed by the authority of the State, and detailed to advanced been deemed the legitimate interpreta- this service, is noi at liberty to procure a substitions of that Constitution, it would have been tute; he must become an inmate of a camp for rejected by every State in the Union.
two years. Thus the apprentice may be forced Again, sir, did the Convention intend to give to away from his work-shop, for a period which Congress the power of converting the militia into will affect his whole future life, the poor man an army, and yet reserve to the States the power must leave his family helpless, the young farmer of appointing the officers ? It is unquestionable or mechanic relinquish his business, to be nethat neither the President nor Congress can grant glected or ruined, or pay an enormous tax, and a commission. You have then an army without the officer, be his condition what it may, is to the power of giving to it officers, an army which spend two years in an army, subject to the rules may be kept together, or disbanded for the defect and articles of war. Is this equality? Is this of officers, at the pleasure of eighteen sovereign justice? Is it not oppression and tyranny of no States. With such an army, you might repel ordinary character ? If any position be so true an invasion, or suppress insurrections, or cause as to admit of no doubt, it is, that, in support of the laws to be executed, but you cannot carry on burdens created by war, the people should be a war.
taxed according to their property. This bill is a This bill is not only unconstitutional, but it is palpable departure from that rule of political unequal, unjust, and oppressive. By the second justice. section, the militia are to be divided into classes, It is said, however, that our country is in great and each class is compelled to furnish a man, one peril; men must be had, the Army must be filled. of their number, or a substitute, to serve as a sol. What then? Are these reasons for resorting to dier for two years. It affects no citizen who is unconstitutional and oppressive measures ? The over forty-five years of age--no exempt from mil- plea of necessity is too old, too well characterized, itary duty, no commissioned officer, except such ioo well understood to be admitted. This people as the State shall select to command, and those have seen times of imminent danger. in the it obliges to serve, in all events; it includes apo war of the Revolution where destruction assailed prentices, poor men, and those of every occupa- us on all sides, when did we, for a moment, adtion, between eighteen and forty-five years of mit these doctrines! The people were, in some age. To illustrate these ideas, I will ask the at- States, classed and draughted, but for only short tention of the Senate to its operation upon the periods, and upon principles totally dissimilar to State of Connecticut. The quota of that State those contained in this bill. Every man was is about three thousand and ten. Its militia con- included and obliged to contribute. In Great sists of about twenty thousand non-commissioned Britain, whence we derive many of our maxims, officers and privates; there are not less than forty- usages, and laws, and whence too we have derived eight thousand males above eighteen, and under the law for calling forth the militia in the cases forty-five; add to these the males over forty-five, specified, every poor man with one child or more, and it will be seen what proportion of the male all apprentices, and many others, are exempted population over eighteen is subjected to this from Tiability to be called out to repel invasions. draught. Of the property, I believe, five-sixths, Are we less attentive to the rights and interests or more, is possessed by the exempts. In these of the people, than the nation towards which so twenty thousand militia are to be found appren- much invective is constantly uttered ? tices, day laborers, mechanics, and farmers. Of The bill is incapable of being executed, as well these, one in seven is, by this bill, forced into the as unconstitutional and unjust. It proceeds enarmy for two years, or the seven are compelled tirely upon the idea that the State governments to procure a substitute. The soldier is allowed I will lend their aid to carry it into effect. If they
NOVEMBER, 1814. refuse, it becomes inoperative. Now, sir, will edge the militia as in the service of the United the Executives who believe it a violation of the States, or to pay or subsist them, assigning as a Constitution, assist in its execution? I tell you reason, that a major general could not be recog. they will not. No one denies that the State gov- nised when any number less than four thousand ernments have some power over their militia; is required; though, on the first of July, as before all admit that they have, at least, a power con- stated, three thousand with a major general had current with that of the United States. It is so been called for and detached, and though the admitted in this debale; the limits, however, it is brigadier assigning this reason had not then men said, are not, and cannot be denied. Of one thing sufficient to constitute a colonel's command. This you may be certain, that the captain general and course was in obedience to the orders of the Seccommander-in-chief of the military force of a retary of War. The militia however, did not State, will not readily yield the whole or any por abandon the defence of the State and nation, but tion of that force to ihe United States, to become remained in obedience to the orders of the en
part of a regular army, and thus consent to an- lightened and patriotic Chief Magistrate of that nihilate the power of the State over its militia. Siate, and have been subsisted and paid out of its For such a claim you must show him a warrant treasury. I will not consent to any bill like that in the Constitution. If you differ with him as to on your table, will justice shall have been done to the interpretation of thai instrument, he is at lib- a State which has ever been among the first to erty to construe it for himself; yours is a limited perforin all her Constitutional engagements. authority over the subject, the general authority I shall vote against this bill on another ground. is in the State. He is bound to maintain its law- It is declared to be its object, to relieve the reguful rights and privileges. He would be unworthy lar Army from the defence of the frontiers, that of his station if he surrendered them. It would it may be employed in the conquest of the Canabe a flagrant violation of duty to execute an order das. "I doubt if ihis object can be effected withwhich he deemed repugnant to the Constitution. out first securing the command of the St. Law
We are told, however, by the honorable gen: rence. Our success as yet is not very flattering. tleman from Virginia (Mr. Giles) that this bill Without detracting from the hard-earned fame will be popular. Let me assure that gentleman of our Army, or the brilliant achievements of our he is mistaken; in New England it will be viewed Navy on the Lakes, that country remains entirely with extreme horror. An opinion there prevails, in full possession of the enemy. After an imis engraven on every heart, it will live, you can mense loss of money and life, the great work is not destroy it, that no freeman is to be made a yet undone. soldier in your army by compulsion. It is abhor The project, in my judgment, is inexpedient if rent to all the enlightened and independent peo practicable. The result would not be worth the ple, of all parties and sects. They too well sacrifice-it would not contribute towards a peace, know and too highly appreciate the privileges of an object near the heart of every good man. freemen to approve a conscription, however dis- Great Britain is pronounced by gentlemen to be guised.
a wise, powerful, and haughty nation. True, sir, Once more: Massachusetts and Connecticut and when has she been driven into terms of peace have peculiar reasons for withholding their assent by the invasion of one of her provinces ? Should to laws, for calling out their militia. Those al we succeed in this attempt, would her pride be ready draughted into your service, have neither so far subdued as to lessen ber demands? Is it been subsisted nor paid by the United States. I not far more probable that such an event might will speak particularly of Connecticut. On the induce her to lay in wide and dreadful destrucfirst of July last, the President requested of the tion an invaluable seacoast ? At such a price Executive of that State to furnish ihree hundred the Canadas would be purchased at 100 great a thousand men, with a major general and other sacrifice. She retaliates by no strict rules. It is officers, as its proportion of ninety-three thousand not with her, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for militia required from the several States and Ter- a tooth ;" but a head for an eye, a body for a ritories. The quota was detached and organized. tooth. The Parliament House at Little York On the first of August following, Brigadier Gen- was destroyed, and she burnt your Capitol. eral Cushing, of the Army of the United States, We are solemnly warned of our danger by the commanding at New London, requested of the friends of this measure, and asked, if we shall Executive the major part of the detachment thus stand still and suffer our country to be desolated ? organized, and that they might be under a briga- We answer, no; raise armies if you please, lo any dier general, and subjected to his (General Cush-extent, by equal and Constitutional methods-arm ing's) command. As there was then in the ser- every stick of timber that can float. Let the vice of the United States, of the militia, more Navy, once despised, give new proofs, if possible, than a brigadier's command, and as a majority of of her skill and valor; strike home at the comthe major general's command was now called for, merce of the enemy. This is our true course. the major general was, with manifest propriety, This will be felt by the merchant and manufacdirected to accompany his men, and of course it turer, and their voices will be heard and regarded became his duty to command. General Cushing, in the British cabinet. This is the only effeccommanding is that district, (how, and by what tual warfare which we can maintain offensively authority established as a military district is not against that nation. I fear not the conquest of now the subject of inquiry,) refused to acknowl- Tour territory. The attempt would be idle. In