Discussion Some questions about state and territorial militias/guards

SeaTurtle

Private
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
 

Don Dixon

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Location
Fairfax, VA, USA
Your questions indicate a complete lack of understanding of the organization and composition of the "militia" up to the beginning of the Civil War, and, in fact, until the revision of the militia statutes in 1903.

The Bill of Rights was ratified by the states and became effective on 15 December 1791. Included in the Bill of Rights was the Second Amendment: "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The exact meaning of that amendment, as well as the definition of who or what is the militia, has been a matter of continuing dispute by modern Americans during the firearms control debate. Its meaning was perfectly clear to the founding fathers, however, and is reflected in the legislation that Congress passed to implement it. The militia system was established in Federal law by the two Militia Acts of 1792, which were passed by the 2nd​ U.S. Congress on 2 and 8 May and signed by President George Washington. By the standards of any Congress the legislation had passed at literally rocket speed following ratification of the Bill of Rights, indicating a remarkable degree of unanimity in Congress regarding the composition, organization, and equipage of the militia.

Congress revised the 1st​ Militia Act on 28 February 1795, setting forth the circumstances under which the militia could be called out by the president, and setting out the statutory language prevailing at the beginning of the Civil War:

“Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That whenever the laws of the United States shall be opposed, or the execution thereof obstructed, in any state, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals by this act, it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, to call forth the militia of such state, or of any other state or states, as may be necessary to suppress such combinations, and to cause the laws to be duly executed; and the use of militia so to be called forth may be continued, if necessary, until the expiration of thirty days after the commencement of the then next session of Congress.
“Sec. 3. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That whenever it may be necessary, in the judgment of the President, to use the military force hereby directed to be called forth, the President shall forthwith, by proclamation, command such insurgents to disperse, and retire peaceably to their respective abodes, within a limited time.
“Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the militia employed in the service of the United States, shall be subject to the same rules and articles of war as the troops of the United State: And that no officer, non-commissioned officer, or private of the militia shall be compelled to serve more than three months, after his arrival at the point of rendezvous, in any one year, nor more than in due rotation with every other able-bodied man of the same rank in the battalion to which he belongs.” [emphasis in original]

Thus, under the Militia Act of 1795 the president was empowered to call forth the militia when appropriate. This provision of the Militia Act was based upon Article 1, Section 8, Clause 15, of the Constitution, which gave Congress the power “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.” We see this power remaining today in the military draft, which at its most fundamental level is simply a calling forth by the president of the unorganized militia of the United States to protect the nation. In the case of interference with the laws or an insurrection in any state, it was lawful under the act for the president to call forth the militia from other states to enforce the laws or suppress the insurrection. The militia could not be compelled to serve more than 90 days during one year, which probably accounts for President Lincoln’s 15 April 1861 call to the states for 75,000 men with their service limited to 90 days; a service length which proved to be utterly inadequate to suppress the rebellion of the Southern states.

The 2nd Militia Act defined the composition and arming of the militia:

“Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective states, resident therein, who is or shall be of the age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia by the captain or commanding officer of the company…That every citizen so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball: or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear, so armed, accoutered and provided, when called out to exercise, or into service…That the commissioned officers shall severally be armed with a sword or hanger and espontoon, and that from and after five years from the passing of this act, all muskets for arming the militia as herein required, shall be of bores sufficient for balls of the eighteenth part of a pound. And every citizen so enrolled, and providing himself with the arms, ammunition and accoutrements required as aforesaid, shall hold the same exempted from all suits, distresses, executions or sales, for debt or for the payment of taxes.”

Thus, under Federal law every White, male, citizen or legal resident was to be involuntarily enrolled upon his 18th​ birthday by the captain of the local militia company. The states implemented the Federal requirements in their constitutions or militia statutes. They could, and in some instances did, expand the ages of men subject to militia service. In most states there was a provision which excused men who had a conscientious objection to bearing arms, but the exception also generally required the payment of a substantial commutation fee in recognition of the concept that all citizens had an obligation to contribute to the security of the community. The duty of enrollment later passed functionally to county tax assessors or other local functionaries, who enrolled young men and assigned them to state militia regiments. The modern equivalent is the Selective Service System. In the requirement that all militia muskets be standardized with bores capable of accepting “balls of the eighteenth part of a pound” and equipped with bayonets, Congress required that the militia man equip himself at his own expense with a state of the art military weapon, since this was effectively .69 caliber, which was the standard U.S. military caliber of the time.

In the pre- and post-Revolutionary War period wealthier men often outfitted themselves as cavalry or artillery companies. The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Boston, for example, traces its lineage in the militia system to 1637. Congress not only took this into consideration, but generally required that the men outfit themselves at their own expense. Section 4 of the 2nd​ Militia Act required that:
  • For Artillery companies: “The officers to be armed with a sword or hanger, a fusee, bayonet and belt, with a cartridge-box to contain twelve cartridges; and each private or matross shall furnish himself with all the equipments of a private in the infantry, until proper ordnance and field artillery is provided…[They] shall be uniformly clothed in regimentals, to be furnished at their own expense; the colour and fashion to be determined by the brigadier commanding the brigade to which they belong.”
  • For Companies of Horse: “The commissioned officers to furnish themselves with good horses of at least fourteen hands and an half high, and to be armed with a sword and pair of pistols, the holsters of which to be covered with bearskin caps. Each dragoon to furnish himself with a serviceable horse, at least fourteen hands and an half high, a good saddle, bridle, mailpillion and valise, holsters, and a breast-plate and crupper, a pair of boots and spurs, a pair of pistols, a sabre, and a cartouche-box, to contain twelve cartridges for pistols.
The states implemented the 1st​ and 2nd​ Militia Acts and the Militia Act of 1795 either in their state constitutions, their organic statutes, or a combination thereof. There is a modern concept that citizens just went out and formed militia companies by themselves. Instead, state militia laws carefully laid out a framework of the organization and governance of the militia.

There was no enlistment or oath of enlistment or allegiance in the militia. Under the Militia Acts every man subject to the law was compelled by the national government to participate in the militia system virtually for life and to arm himself at his own expense with arms and equipment suitable for military service. For the common man, this consisted of infantry weapons, and constituted a significant personal expense. In modern American military terms this would be a select fire M4 carbine, a bayonet, a basic load of ammunition, and the load bearing equipment necessary to carry it and his field equipment. The law provided for participation by virtually all White men in the United States, and both John Adams of Massachusetts and Edmund Randolph of Virginia described the militia as being of the whole of the people. Most states provided an exemption from militia service for men who had a conscientious objection to the bearing of arms, but the exemption included payment of a substantial financial penalty. The militia provided for the common defense of the community and if you were unable to participate with your body you were required to participate with your pocket book.

On 23 April 1808 President Jefferson signed An Act Making Provision for Arming and Equipping the Whole Body of the Militia of the United States. By this act, Congress appropriated $200,000 per annum to arm and equip the militia. The funds were to be divided between the states and territories in proportion to the “number of the effective militia” in each. The arms were to be either manufactured at national government armories or purchased by the national government from contractors for the states and territories. The purchases from contractors served to establish a base of private arms manufacturers who could expand the nation’s arms manufacturing capacity in time of war. Each year the appropriation was divided among the states and territories in the form of musket equivalents. The state or territory could take that number of muskets as its allocation, or it could take an equivalent value in other arms and ordnance equipment. If the value of its requisition exceeded its allocation, the state was indebted to the national government for the balance. Once the arms were disbursed, they became the property of the states and territories and were distributed “under such rules and regulations [or lack of them] as shall be by law prescribed by the legislature of each State and Territory.” Nothing in the act removed the responsibility of citizens to purchase their military arms at their own expense if they could afford to do so.

By the time of the Civil War there were approximately 3 million men in the enrolled militia and consequently several thousand theoretical regiments and the requisite number of political colonels, brigadiers, and major generals to command them across the United States. In Virginia, for example, Adjutant General William H. Richardson wrote in his 1859 report to the governor that the Commonwealth’s militia consisted of five regiments of cavalry, five regiments of artillery, and 194 regiments of infantry. Although the Commonwealth’s militia was one of the best equipped in the Union, Richardson also reported that he had only 4,965 state owned small arms on-issue to the militia and 53,947 small arms of all types and conditions on-hand at the Commonwealth’s arsenals at Richmond and Lexington, the vast majority of which were flintlock. The expectation was that Virginia’s militia would report for duty with its own privately owned military firearms.

Americans have always been resistant to compulsion. As the Indian Peoples were pacified, pushed further west, or exterminated, the perceived threat from that source was reduced, as was the perceived threat from foreign powers after the War of 1812 and the Mexican War. Consequently, citizens resisted active participation in the militia, and the state legislatures and Congress failed to adequately control or fund it.

In consequence the militia system had largely collapsed well before 1860, except for small numbers of uniformed and equipped organized militia units – the “uniformed militia” - which largely functioned as social clubs. This was a “select” militia in which the few companies that existed selected themselves and largely armed and equipped themselves, receiving little support or effective administration from their state or territorial governments.

Regards,
Don Dixon
 

NH Civil War Gal

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Thank you for joining CWT @SeaTurtle! There are others far more knowledgeable than me about militias and home guards. Don gave you a rather breathtaking scope of the thing and I think you are looking for more basic answers. I’m going to call for @captaindrew and James N. and @johan_steele to come over and help with this.

I believe Home Guards were much more prevalent in the South and I don’t know if they were referred to as “militias.” Home Guards were supposed to protect communities but as the war went on and it got closer to the end, Home Guards may or may not be at all effective or even very organized.

I believe in the North, there were state militias and the governors called them up and they eventually got swept into the giant maw of the whole army business. BUT if they signed on for two years, then when their years were done, they left and went back to their home states. But I’m sure others MUCH more knowledgeable than me will be along.
 

Joshism

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 30, 2012
Location
Jupiter, FL
Lee's invasion of PA in 1863 resulted in several northern states calling out their state militias, including PA and NY. Once Lee was back in VA they all went home.

I assume OH called out their milita for Morgan's Raid.

The militia seem to have been regarded as nearly worthless. Union leaders had seen the struggles of green volunteer regiments and the militia were essentially no better, and probably worse.

In doing some research about local history I found an 1868 militia roll for what was then my county. There are similar postbellum rolls for other counties in the state archives. Thus Florida at maintained a militia, at least on paper, during Reconstruction. I don't know if they were ever called out or even drilled.

Naval militia in Florida and some other states did exist in the 1890s. They were called out in 1898 to form the Coast Signal Service during the Spanish-American War. The CSS manned a series of coastal observation states to keep watch for the Spanish Navy.
 

NedBaldwin

Major
Joined
Feb 19, 2011
Location
California
Don refers to the 2nd amendment. Should also mention the clause in Artial I, Section 8 of the US Constution that says Congress has the power "To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress"

I am only familiar somewhat with the situation in Massachusetts. Leading up to the war, Massachusetts had the "enrolled" militia which as Don described was really just a list of every able bodied adult male (with some exceptions - insanity, criminal, other incapacity) but also had the "active" militia which consisted of those who volunteered to join companies established by state law within different localities that were required to train regularly etc and be available at a moments notice when called by the Governor (somewhat like the modern National Guard -- "one weekend a month, two weeks a year"). One of my ancestors for example was part of the Lynn Light Infantry which was a company that when joined with companies from neighboring towns formed a regiment and when united with other regiments from their region of the state formed a brigade. My ancestor's regiment held training/camping events during the late 1850s and were sometimes inspected by their Brigadier General (Ben Butler). So when Lincoln called for Militia in April 1861, those men were the active militia who were ready to leave their jobs/families etc immediately. They had also responded to labor riots in previous years. There was no enlistment term for these men. They were in the active militia by choice subject to state law, as well as in the enrolled militia by law.

Massachusetts state law required officers in the active militia to swear an oath to uphold and defend both the State and the US Constitutions. I'm not sure if privates did too. I believe equipment etc for the active militia was provided by the state, which maintained armories in various locations. Massachusetts had a detailed militia law that spelled out all kinds of things about equipment, discipline, how officers were chosen, staff duties, record keeping, accounts, etc. State also held occasional larger events such as in 1859 when the Governor (Banks) convened the entire active militia for a weekend of drills and parades.
 

RedRover

Corporal
Joined
Dec 16, 2019
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?

Mr. Dixon's answer covers most of the ground on the subject. I will attempt, in my own limited capacity, to more directly answer. Recall that per the Constitution, "militia" are not "troops," or vice-versa.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?
No one enlisted in the militia... it is the military force of the People of the United States, etc. subject to arms, organization, and discipline established by federal and State (or Territorial) laws. If they were mustered into active State (or Territorial) Service, they would have taken an appropriate oath. I recall reading of an Alabama militia company "sworn" into State service... probably by a judge or other State officer. If mustered into federal/confederate (national) service, they would have taken a similar but different oath, generally administered by a federal/confederate army officer, etc. This is because when mustered into federal service, the President became their commander-in-chief rather than their Governor.

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?
periods of active service for militia units were based on either State or federal laws. In the later case, the USA customarily allowed for 9 month enlistments for militia units in federal service... Here are the USA laws:
1624319594809.png
There were some 90 day militia regiments at Gettysburg if I recollect.


Confederate States law stated:

"89. That the militia, when called into service by virtue of this act or any other act, if in the opinion of the President the public interest requires, may be compelled to serve for a term not exceeding six months after they shall be mustered into service, unless sooner discharged."

Without giving specifics, most States had laws allowing for active State service periods of 3,6, or 9 months too...but varied by States.

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?
Most states did not require any particular uniform for their Militia, and most of the men did not procure or wear them. Most States generally required only the officers wear uniforms, and generally similar to those of their grade in the US Army, etc.
The exception were the "volunteer" militia companies of light infantry, cavalry, artillery, riflemen, etc., who customarily wore uniforms of their own design and procurement (subject to any existing state laws regarding them, or the approval of the Governors or their militia brigade/division commanders, etc.). Laws varied by States.
Florida, like most states, required no uniform for militiamen, unless commissioned as an officer; when they were to procure a uniform similar to that of the US Army. In Confederate Florida, a law allowed militia officers to continue to wear their old uniform (blue USA pattern) for two years after 1861; thereafter to wear uniforms like those of the CS Army... (if could be procured).
The Militia law of 1792 (which the Confederates also followed), required a musket or rifle, knapsack, etc. for each militiaman. These arms were to be private property where necessary, and public where available.
I have seen a digest of Mass. militia laws which mentions the Constitution gave the US Govt. no authority over uniforms for the militia of the several states, only their arms, organization, discipline, etc.

However, many of the same states had specific uniform regulations for State Troops raised for wartime, etc.


This thread has some wartime images of "home guards" or militia...
CivilWarTalk Home Guard Uniforms

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?
Depends on the State, and its laws, etc. Some militia volunteer companies might name themselves (they mostly adopted a distinctive name) "State Guards." Otherwise some states might call particular units of militia or State troops organized by their laws by that title. The Constitution notes States cannot keep troops in time of peace without congress approval; but in wartime many did. So units called "State Guards" might not be militia but actual state TROOPS. Florida attempted to raise two such regiments of "State Guards" (troops) in 1861, which were styled "home guards" by some, since they were for local defense only.
Home guards seems to have been a generic term for any organization for local defense, be it militia, or state troops. I believe it was also employed to describe CS Army "reserve" units (compelled only to serve within their States of origin).


Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
Yes. For example, among the Florida militia and State troops organized in 1861 were several detachments and a couple companies of Florida Volunteer "coast guards" (called "boat companies"). At least one company was posted on the steamer "General Grayson" for a short time. Florida disbanded its State troops, etc. in early 1862 for lack of money to pay for any active service, or properly equip. Late war relied on reorganized militia "volunteer" companies in various communities...evidently without particular uniforms, and poorly armed. Given the draft called up all from 17 to 50 into the armies, the militia embodied in the South were described as robbers of the "cradle and the grave..."


J. Marshall,
Hernando, FL
 
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leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Thank you for joining CWT @SeaTurtle! There are others far more knowledgeable than me about militias and home guards. Don gave you a rather breathtaking scope of the thing and I think you are looking for more basic answers. I’m going to call for @captaindrew and James N. and @johan_steele to come over and help with this.

I believe Home Guards were much more prevalent in the South and I don’t know if they were referred to as “militias.” Home Guards were supposed to protect communities but as the war went on and it got closer to the end, Home Guards may or may not be at all effective or even very organized.

I believe in the North, there were state militias and the governors called them up and they eventually got swept into the giant maw of the whole army business. BUT if they signed on for two years, then when their years were done, they left and went back to their home states. But I’m sure others MUCH more knowledgeable than me will be along.
There were Southern Unionist Homeguards that fought Confedrate Conscription Gangs plus Confedrate guerrllas and freelance bandits. There were Unionist Homeguards in Missouri as well. Homeguards are just ad hoc untrained armed civilans that try to counter guerrillas and bandit's the best they can and are common in counterinsurgency conflicts especially in the ACW as there were never enough counterinsurgency troops.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Thank you for joining CWT @SeaTurtle! There are others far more knowledgeable than me about militias and home guards. Don gave you a rather breathtaking scope of the thing and I think you are looking for more basic answers. I’m going to call for @captaindrew and James N. and @johan_steele to come over and help with this.

I believe Home Guards were much more prevalent in the South and I don’t know if they were referred to as “militias.” Home Guards were supposed to protect communities but as the war went on and it got closer to the end, Home Guards may or may not be at all effective or even very organized.

I believe in the North, there were state militias and the governors called them up and they eventually got swept into the giant maw of the whole army business. BUT if they signed on for two years, then when their years were done, they left and went back to their home states. But I’m sure others MUCH more knowledgeable than me will be along.
There were Southern Unionist Homeguards that fought Confedrate Conscription Gangs plus Confedrate guerrllas and freelance bandits. There were Unionist Homeguards in Missouri as well. Homeguards are just ad hoc untrained armed civilans that try to counter guerrillas and bandit's the best they can and are common in counterinsurgency conflicts especially in the ACW as there were never enough counterinsurgency troops.
Leftyhunter
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
Missouri had various types of Unionist militas as it had an ongoing counterinsurgency conflict. Missouri had a full time federly funded force called the Missouri State Milita which wasn't really a milita has its members were paid full time and we're eligible for federal pensions vs the milita was not and they fought out of state and many men were from Illinois.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Thank you for joining CWT @SeaTurtle! There are others far more knowledgeable than me about militias and home guards. Don gave you a rather breathtaking scope of the thing and I think you are looking for more basic answers. I’m going to call for @captaindrew and James N. and @johan_steele to come over and help with this.

I believe Home Guards were much more prevalent in the South and I don’t know if they were referred to as “militias.” Home Guards were supposed to protect communities but as the war went on and it got closer to the end, Home Guards may or may not be at all effective or even very organized.

I believe in the North, there were state militias and the governors called them up and they eventually got swept into the giant maw of the whole army business. BUT if they signed on for two years, then when their years were done, they left and went back to their home states. But I’m sure others MUCH more knowledgeable than me will be along.
There were Southern Unionist Homeguards that fought Confedrate Conscription Gangs plus Confedrate guerrllas and freelance bandits. There were Unionist Homeguards in Missouri as well. Homeguards are just ad hoc untrained armed civilans that try to counter guerrillas and bandit's the best they can and are common in counterinsurgency conflicts especially in the ACW as there were never enough counterinsurgency troops.
Leftyhunter
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
Missouri had various types of Unionist militas as it had an ongoing counterinsurgency conflict. Missouri had a full time federly funded force called the Missouri State Milita which wasn't really a milita has its members were paid full time and we're eligible for federal pensions vs the milita was not and they fought out of state and
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_State_Militia_(Union)
Missouri was the only state to have such an orginization as above per an agreement between Missouri Governor Gamble and President Lincoln.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Thank you for joining CWT @SeaTurtle! There are others far more knowledgeable than me about militias and home guards. Don gave you a rather breathtaking scope of the thing and I think you are looking for more basic answers. I’m going to call for @captaindrew and James N. and @johan_steele to come over and help with this.

I believe Home Guards were much more prevalent in the South and I don’t know if they were referred to as “militias.” Home Guards were supposed to protect communities but as the war went on and it got closer to the end, Home Guards may or may not be at all effective or even very organized.

I believe in the North, there were state militias and the governors called them up and they eventually got swept into the giant maw of the whole army business. BUT if they signed on for two years, then when their years were done, they left and went back to their home states. But I’m sure others MUCH more knowledgeable than me will be along.
There were Southern Unionist Homeguards that fought Confedrate Conscription Gangs plus Confedrate guerrllas and freelance bandits. There were Unionist Homeguards in Missouri as well. Homeguards are just ad hoc untrained armed civilans that try to counter guerrillas and bandit's the best they can and are common in counterinsurgency conflicts especially in the ACW as there were never enough counterinsurgency troops.
Leftyhunter
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
Missouri had various types of Unionist militas as it had an ongoing counterinsurgency conflict. Missouri had a full time federly funded force called the Missouri State Milita which wasn't really a milita has its members were paid full time and we're eligible for federal pensions vs the milita was not and they fought out of state and
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_State_Militia_(Union)
Missouri was the only state to have such an orginization as above per an agreement between Missouri Governor Gamble and
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
Militas were much more useful in counterinsurgency and anti bandit roles then against conventional troops. The book " Jesse James last Rebel of the Civil War" T.J.Stiles Vintage Civil War Press deals quite a bit with Unionist militas in Missouri.
The book " Bitterly Divided the South's Inner Civil War" David Williams thenewpress.com deals extensively with Unionist and Confedrate militas in the South. Militas very much could judge jury and executioner.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Thank you for joining CWT @SeaTurtle! There are others far more knowledgeable than me about militias and home guards. Don gave you a rather breathtaking scope of the thing and I think you are looking for more basic answers. I’m going to call for @captaindrew and James N. and @johan_steele to come over and help with this.

I believe Home Guards were much more prevalent in the South and I don’t know if they were referred to as “militias.” Home Guards were supposed to protect communities but as the war went on and it got closer to the end, Home Guards may or may not be at all effective or even very organized.

I believe in the North, there were state militias and the governors called them up and they eventually got swept into the giant maw of the whole army business. BUT if they signed on for two years, then when their years were done, they left and went back to their home states. But I’m sure others MUCH more knowledgeable than me will be along.
There were Southern Unionist Homeguards that fought Confedrate Conscription Gangs plus Confedrate guerrllas and freelance bandits. There were Unionist Homeguards in Missouri as well. Homeguards are just ad hoc untrained armed civilans that try to counter guerrillas and bandit's the best they can and are common in counterinsurgency conflicts especially in the ACW as there were never enough counterinsurgency troops.
Leftyhunter
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
Missouri had various types of Unionist militas as it had an ongoing counterinsurgency conflict. Missouri had a full time federly funded force called the Missouri State Milita which wasn't really a milita has its members were paid full time and we're eligible for federal pensions vs the milita was not and they fought out of state and
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_State_Militia_(Union)
Missouri was the only state to have such an orginization as above per an agreement between Missouri Governor Gamble and
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
Militas were much more useful in counterinsurgency and anti bandit roles then against conventional troops. The book " Jesse James last Rebel of the Civil War" T.J.Stiles Vintage Civil War Press deals quite a bit with Unionist militas in Missouri.
The book " Bitterly Divided the South's Inner Civil War" David Williams thenewpress.com deals extensively with Unionist and Confedrate militas in the South. Militas very much could judge jury and executioner.
Leftyhunter
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
In terms of Question #2 it just depends on when and where the milita is located . For many Militas they served through the whole ACW and even past it has there were many freelance bandits well after the ACW composed of deserter's,local criminals and escaped slaves.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Thank you for joining CWT @SeaTurtle! There are others far more knowledgeable than me about militias and home guards. Don gave you a rather breathtaking scope of the thing and I think you are looking for more basic answers. I’m going to call for @captaindrew and James N. and @johan_steele to come over and help with this.

I believe Home Guards were much more prevalent in the South and I don’t know if they were referred to as “militias.” Home Guards were supposed to protect communities but as the war went on and it got closer to the end, Home Guards may or may not be at all effective or even very organized.

I believe in the North, there were state militias and the governors called them up and they eventually got swept into the giant maw of the whole army business. BUT if they signed on for two years, then when their years were done, they left and went back to their home states. But I’m sure others MUCH more knowledgeable than me will be along.
There were Southern Unionist Homeguards that fought Confedrate Conscription Gangs plus Confedrate guerrllas and freelance bandits. There were Unionist Homeguards in Missouri as well. Homeguards are just ad hoc untrained armed civilans that try to counter guerrillas and bandit's the best they can and are common in counterinsurgency conflicts especially in the ACW as there were never enough counterinsurgency troops.
Leftyhunter
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
Missouri had various types of Unionist militas as it had an ongoing counterinsurgency conflict. Missouri had a full time federly funded force called the Missouri State Milita which wasn't really a milita has its members were paid full time and we're eligible for federal pensions vs the milita was not and they fought out of state and
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_State_Militia_(Union)
Missouri was the only state to have such an orginization as above per an agreement between Missouri Governor Gamble and
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
Militas were much more useful in counterinsurgency and anti bandit roles then against conventional troops. The book " Jesse James last Rebel of the Civil War" T.J.Stiles Vintage Civil War Press deals quite a bit with Unionist militas in Missouri.
The book " Bitterly Divided the South's Inner Civil War" David Williams thenewpress.com deals extensively with Unionist and Confedrate militas in the South. Militas very much could judge jury and executioner.
Leftyhunter
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
In terms of Question #2 it just depends on when and where the milita is located . For many Militas they served through the whole ACW and even past it has there were many freelance bandits well after the ACW composed of deserter's,local criminals and escaped slaves.
Leftyhunter
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
One unique milita was the Paw Paw Milita in Missouri composed of former Missouri State Guards who had previously fought earlier against the Union but didn't want to fight with the Confedrate Army out of state. These men were enrolled in the Missouri local milita eventhough they persecuted loyal Unionists. When Confedrate General Sterling " Pappy" Price invaded Missouri in September 1864 the Paw Paw turned against the Union if captured they left this veil of tears.
Leftyhunter
 

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
At the start of the Civil War most states had three basic types of militias:

1) Beat militia: This was every adult male of military age in the state. Basically the militia men could be called out by the governor and only served in the state. The beat militia were expected to supply their own arms and might have uniforms which they supplied themselves. By the time of the Civil War this system was broken and the beat militia were just names on a list. Beat militia were of little military value and when called out consumed supplies while providing little value to the state.

2) State supported militia sometimes call Uniformed Militia or some other such name. These were usually the militia that received state owned weapons and equipment. Some states even provided some funds for uniforms or armories. This type of militia was under the control of the state adjutant general often had a yearly encampment. Depending on the state they were of some military use and might even make a fair military force. Early state regiments were often formed around existing units,

3) Next was the Independent militia. These did not receive weapons or funding from the state. They were not under the control of the state adjutant general. This type of militia were often wealthy men or their sons, and independent militia companies often were like excusive clubs. Some state accepted them in early war state regiments. Often their more important contribution was to provide political officers to early war state regiments.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Thank you for joining CWT @SeaTurtle! There are others far more knowledgeable than me about militias and home guards. Don gave you a rather breathtaking scope of the thing and I think you are looking for more basic answers. I’m going to call for @captaindrew and James N. and @johan_steele to come over and help with this.

I believe Home Guards were much more prevalent in the South and I don’t know if they were referred to as “militias.” Home Guards were supposed to protect communities but as the war went on and it got closer to the end, Home Guards may or may not be at all effective or even very organized.

I believe in the North, there were state militias and the governors called them up and they eventually got swept into the giant maw of the whole army business. BUT if they signed on for two years, then when their years were done, they left and went back to their home states. But I’m sure others MUCH more knowledgeable than me will be along.
There were Southern Unionist Homeguards that fought Confedrate Conscription Gangs plus Confedrate guerrllas and freelance bandits. There were Unionist Homeguards in Missouri as well. Homeguards are just ad hoc untrained armed civilans that try to counter guerrillas and bandit's the best they can and are common in counterinsurgency conflicts especially in the ACW as there were never enough counterinsurgency troops.
Leftyhunter
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
Missouri had various types of Unionist militas as it had an ongoing counterinsurgency conflict. Missouri had a full time federly funded force called the Missouri State Milita which wasn't really a milita has its members were paid full time and we're eligible for federal pensions vs the milita was not and they fought out of state and
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_State_Militia_(Union)
Missouri was the only state to have such an orginization as above per an agreement between Missouri Governor Gamble and
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
Militas were much more useful in counterinsurgency and anti bandit roles then against conventional troops. The book " Jesse James last Rebel of the Civil War" T.J.Stiles Vintage Civil War Press deals quite a bit with Unionist militas in Missouri.
The book " Bitterly Divided the South's Inner Civil War" David Williams thenewpress.com deals extensively with Unionist and Confedrate militas in the South. Militas very much could judge jury and executioner.
Leftyhunter
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
In terms of Question #2 it just depends on when and where the milita is located . For many Militas they served through the whole ACW and even past it has there were many freelance bandits well after the ACW composed of deserter's,local criminals and escaped slaves.
Leftyhunter
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
One unique milita was the Paw Paw Milita in Missouri composed of former Missouri State Guards who had previously fought earlier against the Union but didn't want to fight with the Confedrate Army out of state. These men were enrolled in the Missouri local milita eventhough they persecuted loyal Unionists. When Confedrate General Sterling " Pappy" Price
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
https://tngenweb.org/civilwar/miscellaneous-companies/
This is a order from Union General Hulbert establishing Unionist Homeguards in Kentucky and Tennessee both states had lots of Confedrate guerrllas and free lance bandit's.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Thank you for joining CWT @SeaTurtle! There are others far more knowledgeable than me about militias and home guards. Don gave you a rather breathtaking scope of the thing and I think you are looking for more basic answers. I’m going to call for @captaindrew and James N. and @johan_steele to come over and help with this.

I believe Home Guards were much more prevalent in the South and I don’t know if they were referred to as “militias.” Home Guards were supposed to protect communities but as the war went on and it got closer to the end, Home Guards may or may not be at all effective or even very organized.

I believe in the North, there were state militias and the governors called them up and they eventually got swept into the giant maw of the whole army business. BUT if they signed on for two years, then when their years were done, they left and went back to their home states. But I’m sure others MUCH more knowledgeable than me will be along.
There were Southern Unionist Homeguards that fought Confedrate Conscription Gangs plus Confedrate guerrllas and freelance bandits. There were Unionist Homeguards in Missouri as well. Homeguards are just ad hoc untrained armed civilans that try to counter guerrillas and bandit's the best they can and are common in counterinsurgency conflicts especially in the ACW as there were never enough counterinsurgency troops.
Leftyhunter
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
Missouri had various types of Unionist militas as it had an ongoing counterinsurgency conflict. Missouri had a full time federly funded force called the Missouri State Milita which wasn't really a milita has its members were paid full time and we're eligible for federal pensions vs the milita was not and they fought out of state and
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_State_Militia_(Union)
Missouri was the only state to have such an orginization as above per an agreement between Missouri Governor Gamble and
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
Militas were much more useful in counterinsurgency and anti bandit roles then against conventional troops. The book " Jesse James last Rebel of the Civil War" T.J.Stiles Vintage Civil War Press deals quite a bit with Unionist militas in Missouri.
The book " Bitterly Divided the South's Inner Civil War" David Williams thenewpress.com deals extensively with Unionist and Confedrate militas in the South. Militas very much could judge jury and executioner.
Leftyhunter
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
In terms of Question #2 it just depends on when and where the milita is located . For many Militas they served through the whole ACW and even past it has there were many freelance bandits well after the ACW composed of deserter's,local criminals and escaped slaves.
Leftyhunter
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
One unique milita was the Paw Paw Milita in Missouri composed of former Missouri State Guards who had previously fought earlier against the Union but didn't want to fight with the Confedrate Army out of state. These men were enrolled in the Missouri local milita eventhough they persecuted loyal Unionists. When Confedrate General Sterling " Pappy" Price
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
https://tngenweb.org/civilwar/miscellaneous-companies/
This is a order from Union General Hulbert establishing Unionist Homeguards in Kentucky and Tennessee both states had lots of Confedrate guerrllas and free lance bandit's.
Leftyhunter
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Guard_(Union)
Some basic information on Unionist home guards . Homeguards don't fight conventional troops there more for counterinsurgency and anti bandit operations. A counterinsurgency conflicts use some form of Homeguards some better trained then other's. ACW Homeguards were as a rule not trained and pretty much could administrater justice on the spot. Lots of guerrillas and bandit's in the ACW and only do many Union or Confedrate troops to go around.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_Home_Guard
Not a great article but it gives a general sketch of Confedrate Homeguards.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_Home_Guard
Not a great article but it gives a general sketch of Confedrate Homeguards.
Leftyhunter
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
https://www.ncpedia.org/home-guard
This article is about the Confedrate North Carolina Homeguards who actually were paid when on duty but by 1863 Confedrate money wasn't worth much. The Nc Homeguards sometimes fought well against Union forces. The article doesn't mention that the Third North Carolina Mounted Union killed a fair amount of Homeguards also Unionist guerrillas killed some as well. For more details see " Kirks Raiders A notorious band of outlaw's and thieves" George Bumgardner Tar Heel Press and " War in the Mountains" I don't have the book with me know give the complete citation but it covers Unionist guerrillas vs the Confedrate Homeguards.
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_Home_Guard
Not a great article but it gives a general sketch of Confedrate Homeguards.
Leftyhunter
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
https://www.ncpedia.org/home-guard
This article is about the Confedrate North Carolina Homeguards who actually were paid when on duty but by 1863 Confedrate money wasn't worth much. The Nc Homeguards sometimes fought well against Union forces. The article doesn't mention that the Third North Carolina Mounted Union killed a fair amount of Homeguards also Unionist guerrillas killed some as well. For more details see " Kirks Raiders A notorious band of outlaw's and thieves" George Bumgardner Tar Heel Press and " War in the Mountains" I don't have the book with me know give the complete citation but it covers Unionist guerrillas vs the Confedrate Homeguards.
Leftyhunter
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona?

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias?

Question 3: Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with?

Question 4: I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different?

Question 5: The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias?
Any good book on Jones County Mississippi will have information about Newt Knight vs the Confedrate Army and Homeguards in Jones County.
Leftyhunter
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
Forgive my ignorance here, but I've got a few questions as to how the militia system worked during the Civil War in both north and south. I realize that the questions I'm asking probably have very different answers north and south of the line, and maybe even between states on either side ... I'm interested in any and all examples.

Question 1: What sort of oaths of enlistment / allegiance did state militiamen typically swear? For instance did they only swear loyalty to their particular state, or did their oaths also include pledges to the Union/Confederacy? And did this differ at all with militias raised in territories, such as Colorado or Confederate Arizona? Oaths varied from militia unit to militia unit and from state to state. There wasn't any one set oath of allegience that was used nation wide.

Question 2: How long were typical terms of enlistment in state militias? Terms of enlistment were strictly voluntary. Until they were mustered in they were stricly civilian affairs.

Question 3:
Am I right in thinking that state militias were typically supplied with uniforms and equipment at the expense of their own state government, or did individual unit commanders have to chip in for the costs? And if the latter, were there specific regulations set down by a state government as to what equipment a militia unit should be supplied with, or did unit commanders have a certain degree of autonomy in what they outfitted their men with? Until mustered into state service uniforms, arms and equipment were the responsability of the unit. It was a favorite thing in the South for wealthy men to form their own militia unit and bestow upon themselve the rank of Colonel. The system did create some good soldiers but it also created some real stinkers. In the south the term Home Guard was often rolled in with Slave Patrols and as the war progressed quite a few southerners dodged conscription by becoming essential slave patrolers Several times throughout the war CS Cav commanders compained bitterly that the Home Guards/Slave Patrols were better mounted and armed that their Cav units. I believe at one point late in the War Hampton conscripted whole Home Guard/Slave Patrol units into his Cav and then watched them melt away en masse as soon as the chance for a fight came about.

Question 4:
I've come across references to several units (particularly in the south) referred to as "state guards". Was this just another term for a state militia, or did it signify something different? State Guard units were typically units that had been mustered into state service, men had enlisted or been conscripted into service and were under military discipline. Some may have been made up from assorted militia units but I don't know on that score.

Question 5:
The vast majority of militia units I've come across are land-based. Did any states organize their own naval militias? Not that I am aware of, several states did have a sort of militia in their light house services but I'm not certain that could be called a militia organization.
I answered some inside your text but you have to expand it to see it.

Militia units both US & CS had a variety of purposes and reasons for their creation. Some were created to protect a community from physical threats such as criminal gangs, Native depradations and slave revolts. Some originally started as Fire Brigades and would gain a military theme as well. In the slave holding regions militias maintained a very real presence due to the fear of slave revolts, especially after the Nat Turner Rebellion. In the West militia units were needed to deal with the very real threat of Native raids by aggressive tribes sucah as the Commanche, Kiowa, Lakota, Cheyenne etc. In all cases their effectiveness was varied. It's one thing to train with friends and neighbors when there is no real threat of violence, it's another thing entirely when it comes time to stand in a line of battle.

The practice of wealthy men or militia units arming and equiping themselves varied dramaticly as well. Men like Wade Hampton in particular did a superb job of creating units and taking them off to war with those units arriving well equipped and ready for a fight. Wheras others showed up with a self appointed Captain or Colonel leading a group of men with shotguns and squirrel rifles expecting the state to arm and equip them. It wasn't much better when a fire brigade of fraternity showed up but they at least, sometimes, had a degree of discipline and organization.

It has been said that the South had a better militia system than the rest of the country becuase they had the experiance of Slave Patrols. The reality was that escaped slaves rarely were able to shoot back and it's a whole nother matter when the enemy is shooting back.
 
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