March 6, 1861 Confederate Congress act:

"The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That... the President be, and he is hereby authorized to employ the militia, military and naval forces of the Confederate States of America, and to ask for and accept the services of any number of volunteers, not exceeding one hundred thousand, who may offer their services... to serve for twelve months after they shall be mustered into service, unless sooner discharged.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the militia, when called into service by virtue of this act or any other act, if in the opinion of the President the public interest requires, may be compelled to serve for a term not exceeding six months after they shall be mustered into service, unless sooner discharged"

Sec. 1 states twelve month, Sec. 2 - six month. What was the real one, intended by this act? I know that in reality confederates were eventually serving till the war end, but my question is exclusively for this act. Sorry if question looks silly, but English is not my native language (especially century and a half old English)

1 Answer 1


Section 2 specifically refers to the existing militia only (which may not necesssarily have been all volunteer). Militia is a local fighting force.

Section 1 refers to all volunteer armed forces.

Basically what this means is that if you volunteered for Confederate military service in the war you were committed to 12 months of service. If you were already in the militia, however, for whatever reason, by the act you could only be compelled to fight for 6 months.


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