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United States Volunteers: Wikis


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United States Volunteers also known as U.S. Volunteers, U. S. Vol., or U.S.V.

During the nineteenth century this was the United States federal government's main means for raising large forces of citizen-soldiers needed in wartime to augment the small Regular Army and organized militia and National Guard. The U.S. Volunteers were the forerunner of the National Army in World War One and the Army of the United States in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

The U.S. Volunteers did not exist in peacetime. Unlike the militia, which, under the United States Constitution, each state recruited, trained, equipped, and maintained localy; regimental officers were appointed and promoted by state governors and could not be kept in federal service for more than nine months nor sent outside the country, the U.S. Volunteers were enlisted for terms of one to three years, and between 1794 and 1902 fought outside the country.[1]

Regiments and batteries became known as "Volunteers" to distinguish between state and regular army units.

War of 1812

The great majority of soldiers who served during the War of 1812 were volunteers, or members of state militia who were federalized for portions of the war period. There were also volunteer units directly raised by the federal government.

U.S. Volunteers were seen as "temporary regulars" because they were not state troops but rather augmented the Regular Army.

Mexican–American War

List of U. S. Army, Navy and Volunteer units in the Mexican American War

American Civil War

see Military leadership in the American Civil War Militia and political leaders appointed to Union military leadership and American Civil War.

Each state was given a quota of "volunteer regiments" to be raised for service lasting from three months to three years. with quotas apportioned among the States according to population,..

One was the system of voluntary enlistment in the '"volunteer regiments" provided for ... for a special draft upon the militia to make up the state's quota. ...

War with Spain

Spanish–American War

Volunteer Army, "which would include the Militia of the states when in Federal service." The law provided for a presidential call for two-year volunteers, with quotas apportioned among the States according to population, and that militia units volunteering as a body had to be accepted as units into the Volunteer Army. [2]

Philippine Insurection

Philippine–American War

See also

National Army (USA)

Army of the United States

United States Army

Regular Army (United States)

National Guard of the United States

United States Army Reserve


  1. ^ Chambers II, John Whiteclay, To Raise an Army: The Draft Comes to Modern America, New York City, The Free Press of Macmillan, 1987.
  2. ^ PLAN FOR SECOND MUSTER; Existing Volunteer Regiments Must Be Filled Up to Their Maximum Strength. WILL REQUIRE 42,000 MEN This Will Leave 33,000 Troops Under the Second Call to be Formed Into New and Distinct Regiments as New York Times, June 1, 1898.


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