U.S. Statutes at Large


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No. 120.

Act Authorizing the Employment of Volunteers

July 22, 1861

An Act to authorize the Employment of Volunteers to aid in enforcing the Laws and protecting Public Property.

WHEREAS, certain of the forts, arsenals, custom-houses, navy yards, and other property of the United States have been seized, and other violations of law have been committed and are threatened by organized bodies of men in several of the States, and a conspiracy has been entered into to overthrow the Government of the United States: Therefore,

Be it enacted . . . , That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to accept the services of volunteers, either as cavalry, infantry, or artillery, in such numbers, not exceeding five hundred thousand, as he may deem necessary, for the purpose of repelling invasion, suppressing insurrection, enforcing the laws, and preserving and protecting the public property: Provided, That the services of the volunteers shall be for such time as the President may direct, not exceeding three years nor less than six months,1 and they shall be disbanded at the end of the war. . . .

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the said volunteers shall be subject to the rules and regulations governing the army of the United States, and that they shall be formed, by the President, into regiments of infantry, with the exception of such numbers for cavalry and artillery, as he may direct, not to exceed the proportion of one company of each of those arms to every regiment of infantry, and to be organized as in the regular service. . . .

[The remainder of the act relates to the organization of the volunteers, the appointment of officers, etc.]

1 A supplementary act of July 25, 1861, provided that volunteers should "be mustered in for ’during the war.’" — ED.


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Chicago: "Act Authorizing the Employment of Volunteers," U.S. Statutes at Large in Documentary Source Book of American History, 1606-1913, ed. William MacDonald (1863-1938) (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916), 439. Original Sources, accessed May 28, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=UTRA4BVACB51V6B.

MLA: . "Act Authorizing the Employment of Volunteers." U.S. Statutes at Large, Vol. XII, in Documentary Source Book of American History, 1606-1913, edited by William MacDonald (1863-1938), New York, The Macmillan Company, 1916, page 439. Original Sources. 28 May. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=UTRA4BVACB51V6B.

Harvard: , 'Act Authorizing the Employment of Volunteers' in U.S. Statutes at Large. cited in 1916, Documentary Source Book of American History, 1606-1913, ed. , The Macmillan Company, New York, pp.439. Original Sources, retrieved 28 May 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=UTRA4BVACB51V6B.