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STATE OF MICHIGAN.
ADJUTANT A OFFICE, }
Detroit, December 1st, 1854. To His Excellency, ANDREW PARSONS, Governor and Commander-in
Chief: SIR :
-Pursuant to the provisions of the Act of Congress approved May 8th, 1792, entitled "An Act more effectually to provide for the National defence, by establishing an uniform Militia throughout the United States," and also in conformity with the 9th section of chapter 7, of the act of this state approved May 18th, 1846, entitled “ An Act to provide for organizing an active Militia, and for other purposes," which provides that the Adjutant General shall make a return in duplicate, of all the militia in the State, with the arms, accoutrements and an munition-one copy of which he shall deliver to the Commander-inChief, on or before the 1st day of December, and transmit the other to the President of the United States on or before the 1st day of January, annually,” I have the honor to submit herewith my Reports of the condition of the Militia, for the years 1853 and 1854. I have the honor to remain, with the highest respect,
Your Excellency's obedient servant.
JOHN E. SCHWARZ Adjutant and Quartermaster General, M. M.
DETROIT, December 1st, 1854. To His Excellency, ANDREW PARSONS, Governor and Commander-in
SIR-I have the honor to submit to your Excellency, in compliance with the provisions of the law, the Annual Reports from this Department, for the years 1853 and 1854, containing the abstract from the returns of the Commanding Officers of Divisions, Brigades, and Divisionary Corps of the Active Malitia, together with abstracts from the returns of the Clerks of the several cities and townships of the State, (as far as received,) exhibiting the numercial strength of the enrolled Militia ; also, tabular statements of the amount of ordnance, ordnance stores, arms and accoutrements, &c., the property of the State, deposited in the United States Arsenal, at Dearborn, and in the State Armory in this city, under my care as Quarter-Master General.
I am gratified at being able to state, that the condition of the Active Militia of the State has been much improved within the past two years, and that there is a fair prospect (provided the Honorable, the Legislature will but grant the so oft required revision of the existing Militia Laws, and extend its fostering care over this branch of the public service,) that a few years more will find Michigan protected by a military organization equal to much older and larger populated States.
Even under the existing laws, if they could be rigidly enforced, in accordance with the true spirit, the present system would be less objectionable; but while a portion of the State does its duty, I regret to add,
Ι that in many localities there is a neglect of the law.
In most localities, Assessors, Supervisors and Township Clerks, have failed to do what the law requires of them.
This neglect of official duty on the part of the civil officers, arises partly from ignorance, partly from indifference, and partly from a wilful determination to defeat the laws for the government of the Militia system.
I deem it of the highest importance to the interests of the Militia system, that a revision of the existing law of 1846, with such alterations and amendments as may be deemed advisable, should take place, and to effect so desirable an object, that a number of competent commissioned officers, of the different grades, be appointed to lay before the 'Honorable the Legislature, such a revised code, for its approval, enactment and protection, as their practical experience as military men would recommend.
And I especially recommend that the duties of the persons charged with the enrollment be plainly and distinctly defined, and that for these services an adequate compensation be allowed, and that severe fines and penalties for neglect of such duties, be imposed.
If the Militia system is to be recognized as one of the institutions of the State, those who volunteer to be soldiers under it, have a right to demand of the legislative authority such laws as will insure a full, prompt and faithful execution of all the duties imposed upon civil as well as military officers.
That it must be so recognized, is indisputable and indispensable. The old system, by Congress, was established at a time when the population of the whole United States was no more than that of the State of New York is at present. Independence from Great Britian had just been achieved, the Indians among us were numerous, warlike and hostile to our people, and the militia system then prescribed by Congress, was doubtless the best for the country, which could have been devised at that day, and it is believed that it was for many years faithfully obeyed and executed by, all the States, because they saw that their safety and security greatly depended upon it.