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Plan for regulating the Minute-Men and Militia


Resolved, That the Treasurers be allowed for receiving and paying away the said Bills one per cent.

The Report of the Committee, appointed to bring in a plan for regulating Minute-Men and Militia, being taken into consideration:

Resolved, That the Province be divided into six Districts, as they stood heretofore under the Superiour Court Law, viz: Edenton, Halifax, Hillsborough, Wilmington, Newbern, and Salisbury, Districts.

That a Battalion, consisting of ten Companies of fifty men rank and file each, be raised in each District; and a Colonel, Lieutenant-Colonel, Major, ten Captains, ten Lieutenants, ten Ensigns, twenty Sergeants, ten Drummers, and ten Fifers, be allowed for every Battalion. That the Field-Officers for each and every Battalion be recommended by the several Districts, and appointed by the Congress; and that the number of Men to be enlisted in the several Counties in the different Districts, be also recommended by the several Districts, as nearly as may be to the number of effective Men in each County.

That the Field-Officers in each District appoint a suitable


able person or persons in each County to enlist Minute-Men; which said Minute-Men, when their Companies are completed, shall choose their Captains, Lieutenants and Ensigns: and the said Captains, Lieutenants and Ensigns of each Company shall appoint their respective Non-commissioned Officers.

That the Field-Officers and Captains of each District appoint an Adjutant.

That the persons appointed to enlist Minute-Men in each County may take volunteers, coming of their own accord from other Counties, but shall not go into any other County to enlist, without permission of the Committee of such County in writing.

That when any Company is completed, and the Officers chosen, the Captain shall give notice to the Chairman of the County Committee, who shall thereupon call the Committee together to review the said Company at such place as the Chairman shall think proper; and the Committee, or a majority of them, finding the Company complete with able and proper men, shall grant a certificate thereof to the Captain, specifying the County and day, by which certificates the priority or rank of the Captains in the different Battalions shall be determined: and that the precedence or rank of the different Battalions be determined also as they are soonest embodied; which shall be ascertained and certified by the Members of the Provincial Council for the respective Districts where such Battalion belong. Should two Captains' certificates bear date the same day, the Members of the Provincial Council for the District shall decide between them. Should two Battalions or Colonels' certificates bear the same date, the Provincial Council shall determine the rank.

That the Provincial Council enter the returns or certificates of the County Committees and the Committees of Safety in a book for the purpose, and issue commissions accordingly.

That the Captains, or persons appointed to enlist, in enlisting men, give a preference to those who have guns of their own; but if it be found necessary to take such as have none, that then the Captain certify the same to the Committees of the Counties to which they belong, who shall thereupon borrow such guns as are fit for service, giving receipts describing such guns, and the value thereof, to the owners, that they may hereafter get them again, or the value of them. And the said Committees shall take receipts in like manner of the Captains for guns thus supplied; which receipts shall be transmitted to the Provincial Council: and the Captains shall produce such guns when demanded, pay the value of them, or shew that they have been lost by unavoidable accident to the publick.

That an allowance be made after the rate of ten Shillings per annum for a good smooth bore or Musket, and twenty Shillings for a Rifle, to the owners for the use of their guns, in the case above mentioned.

That the Minute-Men as soon as they are enlisted, and approved by Companies as above, be embodied in Battalions at or near the Towns aforesaid, in the different Districts, there to continue in training for fourteen days successively, Sundays inclusive; and that each and every Minute-Man be allowed one day' s pay for every twenty miles in travelling to and from the place of training by Battalions: After this, that the different Companies in their respective Counties muster at least once a fortnight, on such days and such places as their Captains shall direct.

That the Adjutant for each District be employed for six months, and allowed the sum of fifteen Pounds per month, and attend in the different Counties to his District belonging by rotation; and the Field-Officers in each District, shall have power to remove such Adjutant for misbehaviour, and appoint another in his stead.

That the Officers and Men while training by Battalions, and when called into actual service, have pay as follows: A Colonel per day, fourteen shillings three farthings, Lieutenant-Colonel eleven shillings and five pence, Major nine shillings and six pence. Captain five shillings and eight pence half-penny, Lieutenant five shillings and nine pence three farthings, Ensigns two shillings and ten pence farthing, Sergeant two shillings and three pence farthing, Corporal, Drummer and Fifer two shillings half-penny, a Private man one shilling and ten pence three farthings.


That the Special Committee herein before mentioned appoint a Commissary of Musters for every District, and shall be allowed eight pence per day for victualling each and every man. That a bounty of twenty-five shillings be allowed for every private man and Non-commissioned Officer, to buy a Hunting-Shirt, Leggins or Spatterdashes, and black Garters, which shall be the Uniform; and that the manual exercise for the said Minute-Men be that recommended by His Majesty in 1764. And if any Officer or Minute-Man shall refuse or neglect to attend battalion duty he shall forfeit two days' pay for every day he is absent, giving to the delinquent the privilege of making excuse any time during battalion exercise or training, which excuse shall be allowed or disallowed by a Court-Martial consisting of the Field-Officers and Captains to each Battalion belonging; the same to be levied on the estate of the delinquent, by any person or persons by the said Court appointed, and applied according to act of Assembly for regulating the Militia.

That each and every Company make such regulations as to them shall seem best, for non-attendance, disobedience and misbehaviour at musters by Companies; provided, that the Commanding Officer or Captain may, if found necessary, give leave of absence to any inferiour officer or private man; the first in battalion duty, the last in Company musters.

That the Minute-Men be enlisted for six months, and whenever called into actual service, be subject and bound by the Rules and Regulations for the Continental Army provided by the Continental Congress; and if any Officer or Minute-Man, during his attendance on training duty by Battalions, shall refuse to obey the commands of his superiour Officer, or behave refractory or indecently, such offender shall and may be confined for any time not exceeding twenty-four hours, and fined in any sum not exceeding fourteen days' pay, as shall be determined by the judgment of a Court-Martial, to be held as aforesaid; the fines to be levied and applied as herein before directed.

That in case of insurrections, invasions, or other emergency, such Captain or Captains as may be nearest to the scene of action, or first informed of the danger, shall have power to order all or part of his or their men, as may be necessary, into immediate service, and shall give notice to the Colonel or Commanding Officer of the Battalion to which he or they belong; and the Colonel or Commanding Officer shall, upon such information from a Captain, or in the first instance, have power to order all or every part of the Battalion, as he shall think proper, into service, and march them to any part of his District: but he shall give notice to the Committee of Safety of his District, and shall be subject to their orders when convened; but as soon as the Provincial Council shall meet, the power of the Committees of Safety shall cease with respect to such Battalion, and the Colonel, or Commanding Officer thereof, shall be subject to the control of the said Council.

That the Regular Officers shall take rank of the Minute-Officers of the same rank, and the Minute-Officers shall take rank of the Militia Officers of the same rank; but the Minute-Men shall not be under the command of the Militia Officers, nor the Militia under the command of the Minute-Officers, unless when drawn in actual service. That a Colonel of the Minute-Men shall take rank of a Lieutenant-Colonel of the Regulars; and a Colonel of the Militia take rank of a Lieutenant-Colonel of the Minute-Men.

And that every Officer, or Minute-Man, who shall refuse or unreasonably delay conforming to the above directions, with respect to insurrections, &c˙, shall, for such refusal or delay, suffer such punishment, (death excepted,) or pay such fine as shall be adjudged by a Court-Martial consisting of the Field-Officers and Captains to his Battalion belonging; provided, that if any Officer shall think himself aggrieved by the decision of such Court-Martial, he may appeal to the Provincial Council, whose determination shall be final: the said fines and forfeitures to be levied and applied as herein before directed.

And with respect to the Militia, your Committee have further resolved that the Field-Officers be appointed by Congress; the Captains, Lieutenants and Ensigns by the Committees of their respective Counties: and the Committees shall certify the names of the Officers so elected,


to the Provincial Council, that commissions may issue accordingly. That the Colonel or Commanding Officer in such County have power to order two General Musters in every year; and that the Captains shall muster their Companies once a month, the Officers and Soldiers being subject to the same fines and punishments for non-attendance, &c˙, at these musters, as are directed by law for regulating the Militia.

That an Adjutant be appointed by the Field-Officers of each County, who shall attend on general and private muster of his said County, and shall be paid eight Shillings per day for every day he attends, to be certified by the Commanding Officer of their respective Regiments or Companies.

That the Committees of Safety in their respective Districts, upon any emergency, have power to order the Militia into service; their power to cease, however, in this respect, as soon as the Provincial Council shall meet and issue orders, and that in other respects the Militia be regulated by the law for that purpose; provided, except wherein it is, or may be, contradictory to the Resolutions of the Congress.

And provided also, that every publick Ferry-keeper shall set over ferry free every person who shall attend musters as Militia or Minute-Men, at all such times as they shall be called upon by their respective Officers.

The Order of the Day, that was referred to a Committee of the Whole House, was laid over till to-morrow. Resolved, That Mr˙ John Ashe be allowed four Pounds, for so much advanced by him to Stephen Jackson, a Messenger appointed by this Congress to take, and bring in custody, James Cotton and others, before this Congress.

The Congress adjourned till to-morrow morning, nine o' clock.