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Plan for embodying, arming and disciplining the Militia


The Convention then took into their consideration, according to the order of yesterday, the plan for embodying, arming, and disciplining the Militia; which, being read, and amended was unanimously agreed to, as follows:

The Committee propose that it be strongly recommended to the Colony, diligently to put in execution the Militia Law passed in the year 1738, entitled "An Act for the better regulating of the Militia," which has become in force by the expiration of all subsequent Militia Laws.

The Committee are further of opinion that, as from the expiration of the above-mentioned latter laws, and various other causes, the legal and necessary disciplining the Militia has been much neglected, and a proper provision of Arms and Ammunition has not been made, to the evident danger of the community in case of invasion or insurrection, it be recommended to the inhabitants of the, several Counties of this Colony that they forth one or more volunteer Companies of Infantry and Troops of Horse, in each County, and to be in constant: training and readiness to act on any emergency.

That it be recommended, particularly to the Counties of Brunswick, Dinwiddie, Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover, Spottsylvania, King George, and Stafford, and to all Counties below these, that out of such, their volunteers, they form each of them one or more Troops of Horse; and to all the Counties above these, it is recommended that they pay a more particular attention to the forming a good Infantry.

That each Company of Infantry consist of sixty-eight rank and file, to be commanded by one Captain, two Lieutenants, one Ensign, four Sergeants, and four Corporals; and that they have a Drummer, and be furnished with a Drum and Colours; that every man be provided with a good Rifle, if to be had, or otherwise with a common Firelock, Bayonet, and Cartouch-box, and also with a Tomahawk, one pound of Gunpowder, and four pounds of Ball, at least, fitted to the bore of his Gun; that he be clothed in a Hunting Shirt, by way of uniform; and that all endeavour, as soon as possible, to become acquainted with the military exercise for Infantry, appointed to be used by His Majesty in the year 1764.

That each Troop of Horse consist of thirty, exclusive of Officers; that every Horseman be provided with a good Horse, Bridle, Saddle, with Pistols and Holsters, a Carbine, or other short Firelock, with a Bucket, a Cutting Sword, or Tomahawk, one pound of Gunpowder, and four pounds of Ball, at the least, and use the utmost diligence in training and accustoming his Horse to stand the discharge of fire-arms, and in making himself acquainted with the military exercise for Cavalry.

That, in order to make a further and more ample provision of Ammunition, it be recommended to the Committees of the several Counties, that they collect from their Constituents, in such manner as shall be most agreeable to them, so much money as will be sufficient to purchase half a pound of Gunpowder, one pound of Lead, necessary Flints and Cartridge Paper, for every tithable person in their County; that they immediately take effectual measures for the procuring such Gunpowder, Lead, Flints, and Cartridge Paper, and dispose thereof, when procured, in such place or places of safety as they may think best: and it is earnestly recommended to each individual to pay such proportion of the money necessary for these purposes as by the respective Committees shall be judged requisite.

That as it may happen that some Counties, from their situation, may not be apprized of the most certain and speedy method of procuring the articles before-mentioned, one General Committee should be appointed, whose business it should be to procure, for such Counties as may make application to them, such articles, and so much thereof as the moneys wherewith they shall furnish the said


Committee will purchase, after deducting the charges of transportation, and other necessary expenses.

Resolved, That Robert Carter Nicholas, Thomas Nelson, and Thomas Whiting, Esquires, or any two of them, be a Committee for the purpose afore-mentioned.