Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/64

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58 Southern Historical Society Papers.

Brock, Secretary of the Southern Historical Society, enclosed to me at my residence in Washington and forwarded thence, has reached me at this place, where I am spending a short season of recreation. I take pleasure in giving the information you request touching the "Home Guard" of Richmond, though I must do so entirely from memory, as I have no papers here; indeed, those that I had, relating to this matter, have been lost or stolen.

The "Home Guard" was an organization intended for local defence at Richmond, and was commanded by myself under a com- mission from the State of Virginia. At the beginning of the war I was President of the James River and Kanawha Company an office which I had held for more than seven-and-a-half years. Hav- ing, previously, for several years commanded a volunteer company of artillery, called the " Richmond Fayette Artillery," and being at the outbreak of the war colonel of the Fourth regiment of artillery, composed of volunteer companies in Richmond, Petersburg, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and several of the counties embraced within the bounds of the regiment as a part of the Virginia militia, but having been, by the Governor of the Commonwealth, detailed to act as President of the Canal Company, after the adoption of the Ordinance of Secession in April, 1861, I proposed to raise a force for the defence of the city of Richmond, to be composed of those who, like myself, were either exempt under the law for military service, or had been detailed for special duty at home. Upon communications from myself, giving reasons therefor and explaining my views, the city council made an appropriation of eleven thousand dollars, to be expended in the purchase of horses for our use ; the Governor con- sented to issue to us, from the State armory, twelve guns, and har- ness for the horses; and the Confederate authorities agreed to give us forage and stabling for the horses. I enlisted three companies of nearly one hundred men each, which were commanded respectively by Captains Robert M. Nimmo, Michael Bowen and George Barga- min. The men evinced a very fine spirit, attending the drills, which I personally directed, at least twice a week at night, without arms, and sometimes each company having a separate drill under its own captain. At first, our drill-room was a large upper room of the Mechanic's Institute, situated on Ninth street, between Main and Franklin streets, which building was afterwards occupied by the Confederate government for its War Department ; subsequently, our drills were in Military Hall over the Old Market, at the corner of