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War DEPARTMENT, May 19, 1846. Sir:
I have the honor to enclose a copy of an Act of Congress, authorizing the President to accept the services of volunteers.
It will be perceived that all the officers with volunteers taken into the service of the United States under this act, are to be appointed and commissioned, or such as have been appointed and commissioned, in accordance with the laws of the State from whence they are taken; and that the volunteers received into the service are to have the organization of the army of the United States. For this exact organization so far as relates to companies and regiments, please see the memorandum appended to the law herewith, 10 both of which, particular attention is requested. Under the discretion allowed to him, the President has decided that the number of privates in all volunteer companies, shall be limited to sixtyfour.
On the part of the President, I have to request your Escellency to cause to be enrolled and held in readiness for muster into the service of the United States, the following Volunteer Corps :
ONE REGIMENT OF INFANTRY. Due notice will be given to your Excellency when their services will be required, at which time, an officer or officers of the army will be sent to muster them into the service, at such place or places as may be designated, and where the inspecting and mustering officers will be instructed to receive no man under the rank of commissioned officer, who in years, is apparently over forty-five, or under eighteen, or who is not in physical strength and vigor.
It is respectfully suggested that public notice of these requirements of law may prevent much disapointment to the zealous and patriotic citizens of your State, multitudes of whom, the President cannot doubt, will be eager to enrol themselves.
The Department desires the earliest information of the progress of enrolment.
Your Obt. Sert.,
Secretary of War. To his Excellency, the GOVERNOR OF MAINE, Augusta, Maine.
AN ACT providing for the prosecution of the existing war between
the United States and the Republic of Mexico.
Whereas by the act of the Republic of Mexico, a state of war exists between that Government and the United States,
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That for the purpose of enabling the Government of the United States to prosecute said war to a speedy and successful termination, the President be, and he is hereby authorized to employ the militia, naval and military forces of the United States, and to call for and accept the services of any number of volunteers, not exceeding 50,000, who may offer their services, either
offer their services, either as cavalry, artillery, infantry,or riflemen, to serve twelve months after they shall have arrived at the place of rendezvous, or to the end of the war, unless sooner discharged, according to the time for which they shall have been mustered into service; and the sum of ten millions of dollars out of any moneys in the treasury, or to come into the treasury, not otherwise appropriated, be, and the same is hereby appropriated for the purpose of carrying the provisions of this act into effect.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the militia when called into the service of the United States by virtue of this act, or any other act, may, if in the opinion of the President of the United States, the public interest requires it, be compelled to serve for a term not exceeding six months after their arrival at the place of rendezvous, in any one year, unless sooner discharged. .
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the said volunteers shall furnish their own clothes, and if cavalry, their own horses, and horse equipments ; and when mustered into service, shall be armed at the expense of the United States.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That said volunteers shall, when called into actual service, and while remaining therein, be subject to the rules and articles of war, and shall be in all respects, except as to clothing and pay, placed on the same footing with
similar corps of the United States army, and in lieu of clothing, every non-commissioned officer and private in any company, who may thus offer himself, shall be entitled, when called into actual service, to receive in money, a sum equal to the cost of clothing of a non-commissioned officer or private (as the case may be) in the regular troops of the United States.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the said volunteers, so offering their services, shall be accepted by the President in companies, battalions, squadrons, and regiments, whose officers shall be appointed in the manner prescribed by law in the several States and Territories to which such companines, battalions, squadrons, and regiments shall respectively belong.
Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, authorized to organize companies so tendering their services into battalions or squadrons ; battalions and squadrons into regiments; regiments into brigades; and brigades into divisions, as soon as the number of volunteers shall render such organization, in his judgment, expedient, and the President shall, if necessary, apportion the staff, field, and general officers among the respective States and Territories from which the volunteers shall tender their services; as he may deem proper.
Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That the volunteers who inay be received into the service of the United States by virtue of the provisions of this act, and who shall be wounded or otherwise disabled in the service, shall be entitled to all the benefit which may be conferred on persons wounded in the service of the United States.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, authorized forthwith to complete all the public armed vessels now authorized by law, and to purchase or charter, arm, equip and man such merchant vessels and steamboats as, upon examination, may be found fit, or easily converted into armed vessels fit for the public service, and in such number as he may deem necessary for the protection of the seaboard, lake coast, and the general defence of the country.
Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That whenever the militia or volunteers are called and received into the service of the United States, under the provisions of this act, they shall have the organization of the army of the United States, and shall have the same pay and allowances; and all mounted privates, non-commissioned officers, musicians and artificers shall be allowed 40 cents per day for the use and risk of their horses, except of horses actually killed in action ; and if any mounted volunteer, private, non-commissioned officer, musician, or artificer shall not keep himself provided with a serviceable horse, the said volunteer shall serve on foot.