8. All acts and parts of acts within the purview of this act, are hereby repealed.

9. This act shall commence and be in force from and after the first day of April next.

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An Act further declaring what shall be deemed unlawful meetings of


[Passed January 24, 1804.]

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HEREAS it is represented to the general assembly, that it Preamble, wealth, for slaves to assemble in considerable numbers at meeting houses and places of religious worship, in the night, which, if not restrained, may be productive of considerable evil to the community.

of slaves.

1. Be it therefore enacted, That all meetings or assemblages of What shall be slaves, at any meeting house or houses, or any other place or places, in considered un the night, under whatsoever pretext, shall be deemed and considered lawfui meetinge as an unlawful assembly, and any justice of the county or corporation wherein such assemblage shall be, either from his own knowledge, or the information of others, of such unlawful assemblage or meeting, may issue his warrant, directed to any sworn officer or officers, authorising him or them to enter the house or houses, where such unlawful assemblages or meetings may be, for the purpose of apprehending or dispersing such slaves, and to inflict corporal punishment on the offender or offenders at the discretion of any justice of the peace, not exceeding twenty lashes.

2. And be it further enacted, That the said officer or officers shall Persons may be have power to summon any person to aid and assist in the executi- summoned to es on of any warrant or warrants directed to him or them for the pur-tamant. sist in executing pose aforesaid, who, on refusal, shall be subject to a fine at the discretion of the justice, not exceeding ten dollars: Provided, That the Proviso. provisions of this act, shall not extend to any county west of the Blue Ridge.

3. All acts and parts of acts coming within the purview of this Repealing act, shall be, and the same are hereby repealed.


4. This act shall commence and be in force from and after the Commencement passing thereof.


An Act to amend and reduce into one, the several acts of the General
Assembly, for regulating the Militia of this Commonwealth.†

[Passed January 28, 1804.]

WHEREAS, a well regulat it is expedient to carry inte efect

HERE AS, a well regulated militia constitutes the great de- Preamble,

the laws of the Congress of the United States, providing for the na

• Explained and amended at the next session, see post chap. 47.

† See Revised Code, vol. 1, ch. 146, pa. 282-ch. 152, pa. 307-ch. 153, pa. 310ch. 182, pa. 331-ch. 241, pa. 383-ch. 263, pa. 400, for arming militia. Sess. acts, 1800, ch. 45, pa. 24, for arming the militia of certain towns. Ante. ch. 6, for the distribution of arms in certain cases. See post ch. 53 ch. 84-ch. 110-ch. 112, concerning the distribution of public arms.


Brigades and divisions formed.

Battalions and regiments!

How field offi

cers shall be appointed & commissioned.

tional defence, by establishing an uniform militia throughout the United States;

1. BE it therefore enacted, That the counties of Accomack, Northampton, Princess Anne, Norfolk and the Borough of Norfolk, shall compose one brigade; the counties of Nansemond, Isle of Wight, Southampton, Surry, Sussex and Prince George, one brigade; the counties of Elizabeth City, Warwick, York, James City, Charles City, New Kent, Hanover, Henrico, and the cities of Richmond and Williamsburg, one brigade; the counties of Gloucester, Mathews, Middlesex, Essex, King William, King and Queen, Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland, one brigade; and the said brigades shall compose one division. That the counties of Loudoun and Fairfax, shall compose one brigade; the counties of Fauquier, Prince William, Stafford and King George, one brigade; the counties of Culpeper, Madison, Orange, Spotsylvania and Caroline, one brigade; the counties of Louisa, Goochland, Fluvanna, Albemarle and Amherst, one brigade; and the said brigades shall compose one other division. The counties of Frederick, Berkeley and Jefferson, shall compose one brigade; the counties of Rockingham, Augusta and Shenandoah, one brigade; the counties of Wythe, Montgomery and Monroe, one brigade; the counties of Washington, Russell, Lee, Grayson and Tazewell, one brigade; the counties of Rockbridge, Botetourt, Greenbrier, Bath, Kanawha and Mason, one brigade; the counties of Hampshire, Hardy and Pendleton, one brigade; the counties of Monongalia, Ohio, Brooke, Harrison, Randolph and Wood, one brigade; and the said brigades shall compose another division. The counties of Henry, Patrick, Franklin, Campbell and Bedford, shall compose one brigade; the counties of Pittsylvania, Halifax, Charlotte and Prince Edward, one brigade; the counties of Dinwiddie, Greensville, Brunswick, Lunenburg and Mecklenburg, one brigade; the counties of Chesterfield, Amelia, Nottoway, Powhatan, Cumberland and Buckingham, one brigade; and the said brigades shall compose another division.

2. And be it further enacted, That the several counties and corporations within this commonwealth, shall constitute the battalions, portions of battalions, regiments or portions of regiments, as nów established: Provided, That it shall be lawful for the executive to consolidate and divide regiments, in the several counties, as circumstances may require.

3. And be it further enacted, That there shall be an adjutant general for the militia of the state, a major general to each division, and a brigadier general to each brigade, to be appointed by joint ballot of both houses of the general assembly, who shall reside within the limits of their respective commands. Each major general shall appoint his own aid-de-camp, and each brigadier, his own brigade inspector. The brigade inspectors shall reside within the limits of the brigades for which they are appointed. And the governor with the advice of council, shall commission the several major generals, brigadier generals, and the adjutant general, who may be hereafter appointed, pursuant to this act; and all vacancies hereafter accruing in any of the said offices, shall be supplied by appointments in like manner to be made.


↳ And be it further enacted, That the governor, with the advice of council, shall be, and he is hereby authorised and required, to appoint and commission, to each division, one lieutenant colonel commandant and two majors, to command the several companies of artillery and cavalry (as the case may be) annexed to each division, and to arrange such companies of artillery into regiments and battahous, in such manner as to them may seem most convenient, to be denominated the regiment and battalion of the regiment of artillery, or cavalry, (as the case may be) and all returns of the strength and state Commanding of of the several companies of artillery and cavalry, shall be made by ficers of artillery and cavalry to the commanding officers of the several regiments, battalions and make returns. companies, under the like rules, regulations and penalties, as are by law directed, with respect to the rest of the militia.

5. And be it further enacted, That, where it has not already been Courts to recomdone, the courts of the several counties and corporations, shall, from mend the neces the field and other officers, who hold commissions in the militia, pro- sary officers. ceed to recommend to the executive, the officers necessary to complete the regiments, battalions and companies, pursuant to this act; [ Officer reand the persons so recommended, shall be commissioned by the go- moving out of his vernor, agreeably to the constitution of this state. And all vacan- county or bounds cies thereafter happening in the said offices of the militia, shall be of his regiment, supplied by appointment of the governor, with the advice of the ornotperforming council, or recommendation from the court of the respective county or corporation where such vacancy happens, any thing in any act to the contrary notwithstanding.

duty for 8months considered as resigned. See post ch. 53, sec. 2]

Who shall be

pernumerary of

6. All persons who hold commissions under the late militia laws of this state, prior to the year one thousand seven hundred and nine- considered suty-five, and who have not been recommended by their respective ficers. courts, shall be considered as supernumerary officers; but may be [Recommendarecommended to supply vacancies hereafter happening in the officers of the militia, and in case any supernumerary officer, so recommended, shall, on such recommendation, refuse to serve, such off cer shall no longer avail himself of his former commission, so as to claim an exemption from military duty.

tions and qualifi

cations of officers to be entered by clerks without fees. Rev. Code, vol. 1, pa. 362, sec. 2.]

7. And be it further enacted, That each and every officer who may Officers to take be hereafter appointed and commissioned in manner aforesaid, an oath. shall, previous to his entering on the execution of his office, take the following oath, (to be administered by a justice of the peace, or the court of the county or corporation, in which such officer resides) to wit; "I

do swear, that I will be faithful and true to the commonwealth of Virginia, of which I profess myself to be a citizen, and that I will faithfully and justly execute the office of in the militia there

of, according to the best of my skill and judgment, so help me God." If the said oath be administered by a justice of the peace, it shall be his duty to certify the same to the court of his respective county or corporation, there to be entered of record by the clerk. (a)

8. It shall be the duty of the executive to number by ballot, where Divisions, bri the same has not already been done, the several divisions, brigades gades and regi and regiments, and cause the same to be registered in the office of ments to benuin

(a) Any officer failing to qualify to his commission within one month after re-
paving it, shall be considered as having vacated it. See post eh. 110, see. 7.



Districts to be


the adjutant general; and every commission hereafter issued by the governor as aforesaid, shall express the number of the division, brigade and regiment respectively, to which the person obtaining the same shall belong.

9. Where commanding officers of regiments have failed to lay off laid off and re- their regimental, battalion and company districts, or where any alteration in districts actually laid off, may hereafter be found necessary, commanding officers of regiments shall assemble the commanding officers of battalions and companies, at some fit and convenient place and may proceed to lay off or alter any such regimental, battalion or company district, which districts shall in all cases be designated by certain lines and bounds, and recorded by the clerks of the courts of enquiry, respectively.

Men allotted for aetual service.

10. And be it further enacted, That where it has not already been done, it shall be the duty of the commanding officers of companies to proceed forthwith to divide their companies into divisions by ballot from one to ten, for the purpose of a regular rotine of duty when called into actual service; and to return a roster of each division and its number in rotation, within fifteen days thereafter to the commanding officer of his battalion, who shall forthwith transmit the same to the commanding officer of the regiment, who shall direct the same to be recorded by the clerk of the court of enquiry. The same regulations shall be observed by every commanding officer of a company, battalion and regiment, on the subsequent enrollment of any person therein, unless such person shall produce a certificate of his having been before drawn for the above purpose, in which case he A militia man re- shall be enrolled accordingly, and every militia man removing out of moving out of the the bounds of one company into another, shall apply to the commandbounds of his ing officer of the company to which he did belong, who shall give company shall obtain a certifi- him a discharge, certifying the class wherein he was arranged, and whether he had performed his tour of duty or not, and also the time and date of such service; which certificate the said militia man shall produce to the captain or commanding officer of the company into whose bounds he shall so have removed, within ten days after his settlement; and such officer is hereby required to enrol him in the numerical class specified therein; and every militia man so remov ing and failing to produce such certificate, shall be arranged and enrolled in the class destined to perform the next tour of duty. And if any captain or commanding officer of a company, shall refuse to grant such certificate upon application to him made for that purpose, he shall for such refusal, incur a penalty of thirty dollars, to be assessed and applied as other fines imposed by this act.


Penalty for an officer refusing

such certificate

Governor, &c. to

11. And be it further enacted, That the governor with the advice allot entire com- of council, shall and may cause the several companies of artillery, panies of artille- cavalry, grenadiers, light infantry and riflemen, to be allotted by enry, cavalry, &c. for actual service tire companies into divisions from one to ten, for a regular rotine of duty; and the said companies shall in future be called into actual service by entire companies, in such manner and proportion, as the rest of the militia, or as the nature of the service may require; and all such allotments shall be returned to the office of the adjutant general to be recorded by him.

empt from militia duty.

Who shall be ex- 12. And be it further enacted, That the members of the council of state, judges of the superior courts, clerks of both houses of the general assembly, clerks of the superior and inferior courts, the attor

ney general, the treasurer and his clerks, the auditor of public accounts, the register of the land office, and their clerks, all inspectors of tobacco, all professors and tutors and students of the college of William and Mary, and all other public seminaries of learning, all ministers of the gospel licensed to preach according to the rules of their sect, who shall have previously taken, before the court of their county, the oath of fidelity to the commonwealth; keepers of the public, district and county jails, and of the public hospital; millers actually and necessarily employed in the management of water grist mills legally established; all ferry men actually and necessarily employed as such, shail and they are hereby exempted from the performance of all and any part of the duties required by this act.


13. And be it further enacted, That the commanding officers of Mea to be inrollcompanies shall enrol every able bodied white male citizen, between ed. the ages of eighteen and forty-five, except such as are exempted by this act, resident within his district; and that in all cases of doubt respecting the age of any person enrolled or intended to be enrolled in any company of militia, the party questioned shall prove his age to the satisfaction of a majority of the officers of the company within whose bounds he may reside.

14. And be it further enacted, That the governor with the advice Volunteers to be of council, or on the recommendation of the county or corporation enlisted for each courts, shall issue commissions for at least one captain, one lieute- battalion, nant and one ensign, to each battalion, who shall proceed by voluntary enlistment, within their battalion, to enrol a sufficient number of men to complete their company or companies, and be distinguished by the denomination of grenadiers, light infantry or riflemen, at the discretion of the commanding officer of the regiment; and the governor shall moreover as aforesaid, issue commissions for officers of one or more troops of cavalry,* to each regiment, and with the advice of council at their own discretion, to appoint and commission valry to each rethe necessary officers for one or more companies of artillery in each giment, and one brigade; which said officers of cavalry and artillery are hereby em- company of artilpowered to enlist by voluntary enlistment within their respective gade, at least. regiments or brigades, in such proportion to each officer respectively appointed, as the executive shall direct, a company or companies of cavalry or artillery, according to the tenor of the commissions, to be denominated respectively the valry or the

One troop of ca:

lery to each bri

Such companies

company of cacompany of artillery, (as the case may be.) The said companies of grenadiers, light infantry or rifle- Their uniforms. men, shall wear, while on duty, such caps and uniforms as the executive shall direct, to be purchased out of the money arising on delinquents, and shall, together with the said troops of cavalry and companies of artillery, perform the same rotine of duty, and be subject to the same rules, regulations and orders, as the rest of the militia. The said light companies shall constitute a part of the batta- shall form part of lion in which they are raised, and the said troops of cavalry and com- the battalion in panies of artillery shall parade with the regiment out of which they which they are have been enlisted: Provided, That where there are more than one regiment in any county, and but one such troop or company, the br gadier general of the brigade of which such county is a part, shall direct with which of the said regiments the said troop or company shall parade. And where two troops of cavalry are attached to one

So much of this section as authorises the executive to issue commissions for more than one troop of cavalry repealed. See post ch. 53, sec. 6.



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