Militia Acts of 1792

The first Act, passed May 2, 1792

authority of the president to call out the militias of the several states

“whenever the United States shall be invaded, or be in imminent danger of invasion from any foreign nation or Indian tribe”

The second Act, passed May 8, 1792

provided for the organization of the state militias. It conscripted every “free able-bodied white male citizen” between the ages of 18 and 45 into a local militia company. (This was later expanded to all males, regardless of race, between the ages of 18 and 54 in 1862.)

Militia members, referred to as “every citizen, so enrolled and notified”, “…shall within six months thereafter, provide himself…” with a musket, bayonet and belt, two spare flints, a cartridge box with 24 bullets, and a knapsack. Men owning rifles were required to provide a powder horn, ┬╝ pound of gunpowder, 20 rifle balls, a shooting pouch, and a knapsack

Some occupations were exempt, such as congressmen, stagecoach drivers, and ferryboatmen.

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