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State Organized Militia in 1905

According to the 1914 report of the Secretary of War, the strength of the organized militia was 127,410 officers and enlisted men, comprising 141 regiments of infantry, sixty-nine troops of cavalry, forty-eight batteries of field artillery, and eighty-eight companies of coast artillery. Under the laws prevailing as of 1905, whenever the United States is invaded, or in danger of invasion from any foreign nation, it is lawful for the President to call forth, for a period not exceeding nine months, such number of the militia as he may deem necessary to repel such invasion, and for such purpose to issue the necessary orders.

  • To enforce Neutrality. - It is lawful for the President, or such persons as he may empower, to employ such part of the land or naval forces of the United States, or of the militia, as may be necessary to compel any foreign vessel to depart the United States in all cases in which, by the law of nations or the treaties of the United States, such vessel ought not to remain within the United States.
  • Rebellion and Insurrection. - In case of rebellion against the authority of the United States, or when there is an insurrection in any State against the government thereof, the President is authorized to call forth such number of the militia to suppress such rebellion or insurrection as may be deemed necessary. In cases of insurrection against the authority of a State, except as otherwise provided, the President is not authorized to employ the land and naval forces, or the militia, unless on application of the legislature of such State, or of the executive when the legislature cannot be convened.
  • To enforce the Laws of the United States. - Whenever, by reason of unlawful obstructions, combinations or assemblages of persons, or whenever the President is unable, with the other forces at his command, to execute the laws of the Union, or it becomes impracticable, in the judgment of the President, to enforce by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings the laws of the United States within any State or Territory, it is lawful for the President to call forth the militia of any or all the States, and to employ such parts of the land and naval forces of the United States as he may deem necessary to enforce the faithful execution of the laws of the United States in whatever State or Territory the laws of the United States may be forcibly opposed or the execution thereof forcibly obstructed.
  • To compel Respect for Constitutional Sights. - Whenever insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combinations or conspiracies in any State so obstruct or hinder the execution of the laws thereof and of the United States as to deprive any portion or class of the people of such State of any of the rights, privileges or immunities or protection named in the Constitution, and secured by the laws for the protection of such rights, privileges or immunities, and the constituted authorities of such State are unable to protect or from any cause fail in or refuse protection of the people in such rights, such facts are deemed to be a denial by such State of the equal protection of the laws to which they are entitled under the Constitution of the United States; and in all such cases, or whenever any such insurrection, violence, unlawful combination or conspiracy opposes or obstructs the laws of the United States, or the due execution thereof, or impedes or obstructs the due course of justice under the same, it is lawful for the President, and it is his duty, to take such measures, by the employment of the militia or the land and naval forces of the United States, or of either, or by other means, as he may deem necessary for the suppression of such insurrection, domestic violence or combinations.

The President was authorized to specify in his call for the militia the period for which such service is required, not exceeding nine months, and the militia called is required to continue in the service of the United States during the specified term, unless sooner discharged by order of the President. When the militia of more than one State is called into the actual service of the United States by the President, he may, in his discretion, apportion it among such States or Territories or to the District of Columbia, according to representative population.

The President's authority over the militia was derived by legislation under the Constitution. He is the exclusive judge of the existence of the emergency justifying the calling out of the militia, and the executive measures necessary for giving effect to the call are ministerial acts, which the Secretary of War may perform as the representative of the President. When the call is complied with the militia becomes national in character, and the President is commander-in-chief. In this connection, however, it will be constantly borne in mind that State, Territorial and District organizations, whether known as National Guard, or otherwise, are subject to the laws and regulations of the various States, Territories and the District of Columbia, and may be called out by their respective chief executives to preserve peace and order or to assist the civil power in enforcing the local law, in all cases except when the organized militia is in the actual service of the United States.

When the militia is called into the service of the United States, by authority of the President under the law, every officer and enlisted man found fit for military duty must be mustered or accepted into the service of the United States by a duly authorized mustering officer of the army detailed by the War Department for that purpose.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:36:18 ZULU