“Trained Bands”

Throughout the pre-constitutional period from the mid-1600s to the late 1700s, Rhode Island designated the largest and most active components of her Militia the “Trained Bands” (or “Train Bands”), which comprised the infantry, (footnote 1) and (in much smaller numbers) the “Troops”, which comprised the cavalry. (footnote 2) The Trained Bands were also known as “Companies” or “Companies of Militia”. (footnote 3)

The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 208-209.

Also see “Militia”: Defined •  Regulate the Militia “Able-bodied” and Militia Service


Trained Bands

The term “trained band” was not original to Rhode Island (or any other American Colony), but derived from the usage of those words in England during the 1500s and 1600s to refer to local militia. (footnote 4) Often, in pre-constitutional usage, the nouns “militia” and “trained band” were treated as synonyms—as in Johnson’s Dictionary, which defined “militia” as “[t]he trainbands; the standing force of a nation”, and “trainbands” as “[t]he militia; the part of a community trained to martial exercise”. (footnote 5) And not infrequently today as well, the designation “trained band” is equated with “the militia” as a whole. (footnote 6) But as Rhode Island’s pre- constitutional legislation proves, that attribution of equivalence is erroneous, because her “Trained Bands”, strictly so-called, actually encompassed only one portion of the part of her Militia that was subject to regular training and service in the field, the other portions of that part being the Troops of Horse, and to a far lesser degree the Companies of Artillery, along with the Independent Companies of infantry, cavalry, and even artillery. (footnote 7)

Early Militia statutes mandated training for all men from sixteen to sixty years of age—

  • • [1665] “all men from sixteene years of age to sixtye yeares old * * * , both masters, parents, sones, sarvants and others, excepting such as are in publicke office, or are by former lawes exempted”, are required to “find themselves armes and traine in their owne persons”; (footnote 8)

  • [1677] “noe person or persons within this Collony from the age of sixteen yeares unto the age of sixty yeares, shall be released from taininge or other duties in millitary affaires, exceptinge only the civill officers in this Collony, or such whose employments render them excusable by law, unless he or they doe render or give under their Captaine * * * a good and full satisfactory reason for their neglect” (footnote 9)

—throughout most of the pre-constitutional period Rhode Island generally required all able-bodied men only from sixteen to fifty years of age (and not specially exempted) to train:

  • Four Militia statutes spanning the course of 141 years—from 1638 to 1779.
    • • [1638] “[T]her shall be a generall day of Trayning for the Exercise of those who are able to beare armes in the arte of military discipline, and all that are of sixteen yeares of age, and upwards to fifty, shall be warned thereunto.” (footnote 1)

    • [1718, 1730, and 1744] “[A]ll Male Persons Residing for the space of three Months within this Colony from the Age of Sixteen, to the Age of Fifty Years, shall bear Arms in their * * * Train-bands or Companies[.]” (footnote 2)

    • • [1766] “[A]ll Male Persons, who have resided for the Space of Three Months in this Colony, from the Age of Sixteen to Fifty, shall bear Arms in the respective trained Bands whereto by Law they shall belong[.]” (footnote 3)

    • • [1779] “[A]ll effective Males between the Ages of Sixteen and Fifty, except such as are * * * excepted, shall constitute and make the military Force of this State[.]” (footnote 4)

    Footnotes:

    1.) EN-396 — [Number] 30, At a Generall Meeting upon Publicke notice, the 5th of the 9th month, 1638, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 61 (Town of Portsmouth). Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 210.

    2.) EN-397 — An Act for the Repealing several Laws relating to the Militia within this Colony, and for further Regulation of the same, LAWS Made and Past by the General Assembly of His Majesties Colony of Rhode- Island, and Providence-Plantations, in New-England, begun and Held at Newport, the Seventh Day of May, 1718, and Continued by Adjournments to the Ninth Day of September following, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1719, at 86; in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1730, at 91; and in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1744, at 65. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 210.

    3.) EN-398 — An ACT, regulating the Militia in this Colony, part of An ACT, establishing the Revisement of the Laws of this Colony, and for the putting the same in Force, in A LAW, Made and passed at the General Assembly of the Colony of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, held at Providence on the First Monday in December, 1766, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1767, at 179. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 210.

    4.) EN-399 — An ACT for the better forming, regulating and conducting the military Force of this State, AT the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the Governor and Company of the State of Rhode-Island, and Providence-Plantations, begun and holden at South-Kingstown, within and for the State aforesaid, on the last Monday in October, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-nine, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 10 [12], at {29}. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 210.

  • Days statutorily designated for training depended upon circumstances and the amount of effort considered necessary to impart the requisite knowledge, skills, and discipline to men who were primarily civilians and only secondarily soldiers. Sixteen Militia statutes spanning the course of 141 years—from 1638 to 1779.

    The number of days statutorily designated for training depended upon circumstances, being greater in times of war and other public danger than in times of peace and tranquillity—but in any event encompassing the amount of effort considered necessary to impart the requisite knowledge, skills, and discipline to men who were primarily civilians and only secondarily soldiers: (footnote 1)

    • • [1638] “[T]her shall be a generall day of Trayning for the Exercise of those who are able to beare armes in the arte of military discipline, and all that are of sixteen yeares of age, and upwards to fifty, shall be warned thereunto[.]” (footnote 2)

    • • [1640] “[E]ight severall times in the yeare the Bands of each Plantation shall openlie in the field be exercised and disciplined * * * . And * * * there shall be two Generall Musters in the yeare[.]” (footnote 3) 

    • • [1642] “[T]he first Monday of every month, the Traine Bands shall be exercised by the Commanders, excepting in the months of May and August, January and Febru[ary] * * * .” (footnote 4)

    • • [1647 and 1658] “[E]ight severall times in the yeare, the Bands of each plantation or Towne, shall, openlie in the field, be exercised and disciplined by their Commanders and Officers, in the months of May, August, January and February excepted; and on the first Monday of ye other months, all the Train Bands to make their personal appearances completely armed, to attend their colors[.]” (footnote 5)

    • • [1664] “[F]or the present reviueing the exercise and discipline in the Collony * * * the * * * captain in each town doe * * * give out warrants from time to time to warne the people listed to trayne vpon all such dayes as are by the Collony formerly appoynted, for the exercise of trayning, and that all be required on such dayes to appear in armes, compleat; and to exercise vnder their respective officers[.]” (footnote 6)

    • • [1665] “[S]ixe days only in the yeare be ordered * * * for the milletary exercise in training, which shall be dilligently attended to in each respective towne, * * * ; and the dayes prefixed for the exercise of training, are yearly to be the last Monday in May; the first Monday in September; the first Monday in November; the last Monday in March, and the last Monday in Aprill.” (footnote 7)

    • • [1676] “[F]or the future not any of the Traine Bands shall be compelled to traine above two dayes in one yeare: which shall be the first Second day (or Monday) in the first month, March; and the first * * * Monday, in the 7th month, September[.]” (footnote 8)

    • • [1677] “[T]here shall be six traininge days in the yeare * * * which days of traininge shall be for the towne of Newport upon the last Monday save one, in September; the last Monday save one, in October; the last Monday save one, in November; the last Monday save one, in March; and the last Monday save one, in Aprill. And for the townes of Providence, Portsmouth and Warwick, their days of trayninge shall be upon the last Monday in September, the last Monday in October, the last Monday in November, the last Monday in March, and the last Monday in Aprill; and soe for all or any other towne or village within this Collony; and the said inhabitants or listed souldiers are hereby strictly required and commanded to make their personall appearances compleat in their armes, at the second beate of the drum, in such places in their respective townes, and at such houres as the * * * Captaines * * * shall appoint; and that then and there, the souldiers * * * shall give and yeild all due obedience unto their * * * Captaines[.]” (footnote 9)

    • • [1699, 1701, and 1705] All “persons listed under the command of any Captain * * * of the militia” were to “appear complete in arms * * * upon the ——— training days all ready prefixed”. (footnote 10)

    • • [1702] “[T]here shall be but four training days in one year; and three of them to be at the discretion of the commissioned officers of each of the respective Train Bands[.]” (footnote 11)

    • • [1718, 1730, and 1744] “[T]he Captain of each respective Company or Train’d band * * * shall * * * Exercise them in Martial Discipline, two Days in each Year in time of Peace, and four in War”; and “the Captain * * * shall Warn the Troop under his Command to Muster two several Days in every year in time of Peace, and four in time of War”. (footnote 12)

    • • [1740 and 1744] “[T]he Council of War * * * are * * * empowered to appoint such other Days as may be necessary to discipline the Militia, and make them expert in the Use of their Arms, over and above the Four Training Days by Law appointed in War Time[.]” (footnote13)

    • • [1745] “WHEREAS the several Companies of the Militia, or train’d Bands, * * * being obliged to muster four Times a Year in Time of War, is found to be of ill Consequence in sundry Respects, * * * for the future, the said Companies, or train’d Bands, shall be obliged to muster but twice a Year in Time of War, as well as in Time of Peace[.]” (footnote 14)

    • • [1766] “[T]he Captain of each * * * Company or Trained Band * * * shall warn and call together the Company under his Command, and exercise them in martial Discipline, Two Days in each Year, at such Times and Places within his Town, as he shall see fit”; “the Captain * * * shall warn the Troop * * * to muster Two several Days in every Year * * * in like Manner as the Foot-Companies are to be warned”; and “a Council of War * * * may appoint such other Days as may be necessary to discipline the Militia, and make them expert in the Use of their Arms, over and above the Two training Days aforesaid”. (footnote 15) 

    • • [1774] “[T]he Captain * * * shall warn and call together the Company under his Command One Day in every Month, and exercise the same in martial Discipline[.]” (footnote 16) 

    • • [1779] “That there be annually one grand Muster, for the Review of each Brigade”; and “[t]hat the several Companies of Infantry, Artillery and Horse, besides the Muster aforesaid, meet Two Days at the least in every Year, for Exercise and Reviews”. (footnote 17)

    Footnotes:

    1.) In what follows, the term “discipline” often connotes “drill”. See, e.g., Timothy Pickering, Jr., An Easy Plan of Discipline for a Militia (Salem, Massachusetts: Samuel and Ebenezer Hall, 1775), which contains a set of instructions for drilling Militiamen; Allen French, The Day of Concord and Lexington: The Nineteenth of April, 1775 (Boston, Massachusetts: Little, Brown, and Company, 1925), at 23.

    2.) EN-400 — [Number] 30, At a Generall Meeting upon Publicke notice, the 5th of the 9th month, 1638, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 61 (Town of Portsmouth). Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 211.

    3.) EN-401 — [Number] 20, At the Generall Courte Held at Portsmouth on the 6th of August, 1640, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 104.  Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 211.

    4.) EN-402 — At the Generall Court of Election held on the 16th & 17th of March, att Newport, 1642, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 121. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 211.

    5.) EN-403 — Acts and Orders Made and agreed upon at the Generall Court of Election, held at Portsmouth, in Rhode Island, the 19, 20, 21 of May, 1647, for the Colonie and Province of Providence, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 153. Continued by [Number] 7, The General Court of Commissioners held for the Collony, at Portsmouth, March the 10th, 1657-8, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 370-372. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 211.

    6.) EN-404 — Proceedings of a Meetinge of the Generall Assembly, May the fowerth, 1664, at Newport, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 2, at 52. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 211.

    7.) EN-405 —Acts and Orders of the Generall Assembly, sitting at Newport, May the 3, 1665, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 2, at 114-115. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 211.

    8.) EN-406 — Proceedings of the Generall Assembly of the Collony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, held at Newport, the 25th of October, 1676, [Session of] October 27th, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 2, at 555. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 211.

    9.) EN-407 — Proceedings of the Generall Assembly held for the Collony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at Newport, the 1st of May, 1677, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 2, at 568-569. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 211-212.

    10.) EN-408 — An Act for the better regulating the militia, and for punishing offenders as shall not conform to the law thereunto relating, At the Generall Assembly and Election held for the Collony at Newport, the 7th of May, 1701, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 3, at 430-431. This statute is dated “1699” in LAWS AND ACTS OF RHODE ISLAND, AND PROVIDENCE PLANTATIONS Made from the First Settlement in 1636 to 1705, at 92, reprinted from J.D. Cushing, Editor, The Earliest Acts and Laws of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (Wilmington, Delaware: M. Glazier, 1977), at 107. Reprinted from a compilation dated “1705”, it appears in Military Obligation, Rhode Island, at 37. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 212.

    11.) EN-409 — At the Generall Assembly and Election held at Newport, the 6th of May, 1702, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 3, at 453. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 212.

    12.) EN-410 — An Act for the Repealing several Laws relating to the Militia within this Colony, and for further Regulation of the same, LAWS Made and Past by the General Assembly of His Majesties Colony of Rhode- Island, and Providence-Plantations, in New-England, begun and Held at Newport, the Seventh Day of May, 1718, and Continued by Adjournments to the Ninth Day of September following, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1719, at 87-88, 90; in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1730, at 93, 96; and in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1744, at 68, 71. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 212.

    13.) EN-411 — An Act for the more effectual putting the Colony into a proper Posture of Defence, A LAW, Made and pass’d by the General Assembly of His Majesty’s Colony of Rhode-Island, and Providence-Plantations, in New-England, held by Adjournment, at Warwick, the Twenty Seventh Day of January, 1740, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1744, at 233. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 212.

    14.) EN-412 — An ACT ordering and appointing the Militia, or train’d Bands, in this Colony, to muster twice a Year, LAWS, Made and pass’d at a General Assembly of His Majesty’s Colony of Rhode-Island and Providence- Plantations in New-England, held by Adjournment at Newport, on the fourth Tuesday of September, 1745, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1752, at 2. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 212.

    15.) EN-413 — An ACT, regulating the Militia in this Colony, part of An ACT, establishing the Revisement of the Laws of this Colony, and for the putting the same in Force, in A LAW, Made and passed at the General Assembly of the Colony of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, held at Providence on the First Monday in December, 1766, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1767, at 182, 187, 188. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 212.

    16.) EN-414 — An ACT in addition to, and amendment of, an Act entitled “An Act regulating the Militia of this Colony[”], At the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the GOVERNOR and COMPANY of the English Colony of Rhode- Island, and Providence Plantations, in New-England, in America, begun and holden, in Consequence of Warrants issued by his Honor the Governor, at Providence, within and for the said Colony, on the First Monday in December, One Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-four, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 7, at {151}. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 212.

    17.) EN-415 — An ACT for the better forming, regulating and conducting the military Force of this State, AT the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the Governor and Company of the State of Rhode-Island, and Providence Plantations, begun and holden at South-Kingstown, within and for the State aforesaid, on the last Monday in October, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-nine, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 10 [12], at {34}. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 212.

All the members of Rhode Island’s Militia other than conscientious objectors and some poor Militiamen were required to possess serviceable firearms, ammunition, and necessary accoutrements in their own homes at all times. (footnote 10) In addition, as their designation denoted, the Trained Bands were under an obligation to muster on a regular schedule for actual training and exercises with their arms in the field.

  • Footnotes

    1.) EN-391 — E.g., By the Body Politicke in the Ile of Aqethnec, Inhabiting this present, 25 of 9: month. 1639, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 93 (“the Traine Band”); [Number] 20, At the Generall Courte Held at Portsmouth on the 6th of August, 1640, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 104 (“the Bands of each Plantation”); [Number] 18, The General Court of Election began and held at Portsmouth, from the 16th of March, to the 19th of the same mo., 1641, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 115 (“the Traine Bands”); At the Generall Court of Election held on the 16th & 17th of March, att Newport, 1642, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 121 (“the Traine Bands”); [Number] 29, Acts and Orders Made and agreed upon at the Generall Court of Election, held at Portsmouth, in Rhode Island, the 19, 20, 21 of May, 1647, for the Colonie and Province of Providence, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 1, at 153 (“the Bands of each plantation or Towne”, “Train Bands”); Proceedings of the Generall Assembly held for the Collony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at Newport, the 4th of September, 1666, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 2, at 171 (“trayne band”); At the Generall Assembly and Election held in his Majesty’s name, May the 2d, 1677, at Newport, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 2, at 568 (“Traine Bands”); Proceedings of the Generall Assembly held for the Collony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at Newport, the 27th day of October, 1680, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 3, at 93-94 (“Traine Bands”); At the Generall Assembly and Election held for the Collony at Newport, the 7th of May, 1701, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 3, at 433 (“Train Band”); Proceedings of the Generall Assembly held for the Collony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at Newport, the 19th day of June, 1705, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 3, at 534 (“Train Band”); An Act for the Repealing several Laws relating to the Militia within this Colony, and for further Regulation of the same, LAWS Made and Past by the General Assembly of His Majesties Colony of Rhode-Island, and Providence-Plantations, in New-England, begun and Held at Newport, the Seventh Day of May, 1718, and Continued by Adjournments to the Ninth Day of September following, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1719, at 86, 87, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1730, at 91, 93, and in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1744, at 65, 68 (“Train bands”, “Train’d band”); Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Newport, the 14th day of June, 1726, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 4, at 377 (“trained bands”); An Act for raising the Fines of enlisted Soldiers of the Train’d Bands in this Colony, LAWS, Made and pass’d by the General Assembly of His Majesty’s Colony of Rhode-Island and Providence-Plantations, in New-England, held at Newport, by Adjournment, on the second Monday of June, 1731, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1730, at 237; Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, the last Wednesday of October, 1738, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 4, at 548 (“train band”); An ACT ordering and appointing the Militia, or train’d Bands, in this Colony, to muster twice a Year, LAWS, Made and pass’d at a General Assembly of His Majesty’s Colony of Rhode-Island and Providence-Plantations in New-England, held by Adjournment at Newport, on the Twenty-First Day of September, 1745, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1752, at 2; An ACT for settling the Militia of the Towns of Bristol, Tiverton, Little-Compton, Warren, and Cumberland, LAWS, Made and pass’d at a General Assembly of His Majesty’s Colony of Rhode-Island and Providence-Plantations in New-England, begun and held (by Virtue of a Warrant from his Honour the Governor) at Providence, on the seventeenth Day of February, 1746, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1752, at 30-31 (“train’d Band”); At the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the GOVERNOR and COMPANY of the English Colony of Rhode-Island, and Providence-Plantations, in New-England, in America; begun and held at Newport by Adjournment, on the second Monday of June, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty-three, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 2 [1], at {24} (“train’d Band”); An ACT for erecting an ARTILLERY COMPANY in the Towns of Westerly and Charlestown, At the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the Governor and Company of the English Colony of Rhode-Island, and Providence-Plantations, in New-England, in AMERICA; begun (in Consequence of Warrants issued by his Honor the Governor) and held at Providence, on Wednesday the first of January, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty-five, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 2, at {64} (“train’d Bands”); At the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the Governor and Company of the English Colony of Rhode-Island, and Providence-Plantations, in New-England, in AMERICA; begun and held by Adjournment at South-Kingstown, upon the last Monday in February, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty-six, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 2, at {66} (“trained Band”); An ACT, regulating the Militia in this Colony, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1767, at 179 (“trained Bands”); AN ACT establishing an Independent Company, by the Name of The Light-Infantry for the County of Providence, At the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the GOVERNOR and COMPANY of the English Colony of Rhode-Island, and Providence Plantations, in New-England, in America, begun and holden, by Adjournment, at Newport, within and for the said Colony, on the Second Monday in June, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-four, Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 7, at {38} (“trained Bands”); Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Newport, on the second Monday in June, 1776, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 7, at 575 (“trained bands”); Proceedings of the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at East Greenwich, on the last Monday in February, 1780, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 9, at 7 (“Trained Bands”); Proceedings of the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at South Kingstown, on the second Monday in June, 1780, in Rhode Islands Records, Volume 9, at 94 (“Trained Bands”); Proceedings of the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, on the fourth Monday in May, 1781, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 9, at 412 (“trained band”); Proceedings of the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, on the last Monday in January, 1782, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 9, at 508 (“trained band”). Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 208-209.

    2.) EN-392 — E.g., At the Generall Assembly and Election held for the Collony at Newport, the 7th of May, 1701, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 3, at 433-434; An Act for the Repealing several Laws relating to the Militia within this Colony, and for further Regulation of the same, LAWS Made and Past by the General Assembly of His Majesties Colony of Rhode-Island, and Providence-Plantations, in New-England, begun and Held at Newport, the Seventh Day of May, 1718, and Continued by Adjournments to the Ninth Day of September following, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1719, at 90-91, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1730, at 96-97, and in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1744, at 71-72; An ACT for settling the Militia of the Towns of Bristol, Tiverton, Little-Compton, Warren, and Cumberland, LAWS, Made and pass’d at a General Assembly of His Majesty’s Colony of Rhode-Island and Providence-Plantations in New-England, begun and held (by Virtue of a Warrant from his Honour the Governor) at Providence, on the seventeenth Day of February, 1746, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1752, at 31; An ACT, regulating the Militia in this Colony, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1767, at 187. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 208-209.

    3.) EN-393 — E.g., Proceedings of the Generall Assembly held for the Collony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at Newport, the 27th day of October, 1680, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 3, at 94; An Act for the Repealing several Laws relating to the Militia within this Colony, and for further Regulation of the same, LAWS Made and Past by the General Assembly of His Majesties Colony of Rhode-Island, and Providence- Plantations, in New-England, begun and Held at Newport, the Seventh Day of May, 1718, and Continued by Adjournments to the Ninth Day of September following, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1719, at 86, 87, 88, 89, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1730, at 91, 93, 94, 97, and in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1744, at 65, 68, 69, 70; Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Newport, the 14th day of June, 1726, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 4, at 377; An Act for raising the Fines of enlisted Soldiers of the Train’d Bands in this Colony, LAWS, Made and pass’d by the General Assembly of His Majesty’s Colony of Rhode-Island and Providence-Plantations, in New-England, held at Newport, by Adjournment, on the second Monday of June, 1731, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1730, at 237; Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, the last Wednesday of October, 1738, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 4, at 548-549; An Act for the more effectual putting the Colony into a proper Posture of Defence, A LAW, Made and pass’d by the General Assembly of His Majesty’s Colony of Rhode- Island, and Providence-Plantations, in New-England; held by Adjournment, at Warwick, the Twenty-Seventh Day of January, 1740, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1744, at 233; An ACT ordering and appointing the Militia, or train’d Bands, in this Colony, to muster twice a Year, LAWS, Made and pass’d at a General Assembly of His Majesty’s Colony of Rhode-Island and Providence-Plantations in New-England, held by Adjournment at Newport, on the Twenty-First Day of September, 1745, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1752, at 2; At the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the GOVERNOR and COMPANY of the English Colony of Rhode-Island, and Providence-Plantations, in New-England, in America; begun and held at Newport by Adjournment, on the second Monday of June, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty-three, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 2 [1], at {24}; An ACT for erecting an ARTILLERY COMPANY in the Towns of Westerly and Charlestown, At the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the Governor and Company of the English Colony of Rhode-Island, and Providence-Plantations, in New- England, in AMERICA; begun (in Consequence of Warrants issued by his Honor the Governor) and held at Providence, on Wednesday the first of January, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty-five, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 2, at {64}; An ACT in Addition to the several Acts regulating the Militia in this Colony, At the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the Governor and Company of the English Colony of Rhode-Island, and Providence-Plantations, in New-England, in AMERICA; begun and held by Adjournment at Providence, on the first Monday of February, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty-five, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 2, at {72}; At the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the Governor and Company of the English Colony of Rhode-Island, and Providence-Plantations, in New-England, in AMERICA; begun and held by Adjournment at South-Kingstown, upon the last Monday in February, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty-six, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 2, at {66}; An Act for raising one-sixth part of the militia in this colony, to proceed immediately to Albany, to join the forces which have marched, to oppose the French, near Lake George, Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Newport, on the 10th day of August, 1757, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 6, at 75; An ACT, regulating the Militia in this Colony, in Public Laws of Rhode Island, 1767, at 183, 185, 187; AN ACT establishing an Independent Company, by the Name of The Light-Infantry for the County of Providence, At the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the GOVERNOR and COMPANY of the English Colony of Rhode-Island, and Providence Plantations, in New-England, in America, begun and holden, by Adjournment, at Newport, within and for the said Colony, on the Second Monday in June, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-four, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 7, at {38}; An ACT in addition to, and amendment of, an Act entitled “An Act regulating the Militia of this Colony[”], At the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the GOVERNOR and COMPANY of the English Colony of Rhode-Island, and Providence Plantations, in New-England, in America, begun and holden, in Consequence of Warrants issued by his Honor the Governor, at Providence, within and for the said Colony, on the First Monday in December, One Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-four, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 7, at {151}; Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Newport, on the second Monday in June, 1776, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 7, at 567; Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Newport, on the second Monday in June, 1776, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 7, at 568-569, 575; Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, on the first Monday of September, 1776, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 7, at 608; Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at East Greenwich, on Tuesday, the 10th day of December, 1776, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 8, at 67; At the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the GOVERNOR and COMPANY of the STATE of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, begun and holden, by Adjournment, at Providence, within and for the said State, on Monday the Twenty-third Day of December, One Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-six, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 8 [9], at {15}; Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at South Kingstown, on Thursday, the 17th day of April, 1777, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 8, at 197; An Act in addition to an act, entitled “An act for the relief of persons of tender consciences; and for preventing their being burthened with military duty”, Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at South Kingstown, on Thursday, the 17th day of April, 1777, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 8, at 207; Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, on the first Wednesday in May, 1777, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 8, at 226; Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, on Monday, the 7th day of July, 1777, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 8, at 278; At the General Assembly of the Governor and Company of the State of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, begun and holden (in Consequence of Warrants issued by his Excellency the Governor) at Providence, within and for the State aforesaid, on Monday the Seventh Day of July, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-seven, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 9 [10], at {5-6}; AT the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the GOVERNOR and COMPANY of the STATE of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, begun and holden, by Adjournment, at South-Kingstown, within and for the State aforesaid, on Monday the Twenty-second Day of September, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-seven, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 9 [10], at {8}; Proceedings of the General Assembly, held for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, on Monday, the 27th day of October, 1777, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 8, at 317; An ACT for the better forming, regulating and conducting the military Force of this State, AT the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the Governor and Company of the State of Rhode-Island, and Providence-Plantations, begun and holden at South- Kingstown, within and for the State aforesaid, on the last Monday in October, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-nine, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 10 [12], at {32-35}; Proceedings of the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at East Greenwich, on the last Monday in February, 1780, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 9, at 7; Proceedings of the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at South Kingstown, on the second Monday in June, 1780, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 9, at 94; An ACT for embodying and bringing into the Field Twelve Hundred able-bodied effective Men, of the Militia, to serve within this State for One Month, from the Time of their Rendezvous, and no longer Term, and not to be marched out of the same, At the General Assembly of the Governor and Company of the State of Rhode-Island, and Providence-Plantations, begun and holden (by Adjournment) at South-Kingstown, within and for the State aforesaid, on the Fourth Monday in February, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-one, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 11 [14], at {5- 6}; An ACT in Addition to, and Amendment of, an Act, passed in October, A.D. 1779, entituled, “An Act for the better forming, regulating and conducting, the military Force of this State”, At the General Assembly of the Governor and Company of the State of Rhode- Island and Providence-Plantations, begun and holden, by Adjournment, at South-Kingstown, within and for the said State, on the Third Monday in March, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-one, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 11 [14], at {51}; Proceedings of the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, on the fourth Monday in May, 1781, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 9, at 404-410, 412; An ACT for incorporating and bringing into the Field Five Hundred able-bodied effective Men, of the Militia, to serve within this State for One Month, from the Time of their Rendezvous, and no longer, and not to be marched out of the same, AT the General Assembly of the Governor and Company of the State of Rhode-Island, and Providence-Plantations, begun and holden, by Adjournment, at Providence, within and for the State aforesaid, on the Fourth Monday in May, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-one, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 11 [14], at {12-13}; Proceedings of the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, on Tuesday, July 3d, 1781, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 9, at 438; An ACT for incorporating and bringing into the Field Five Hundred able-bodied effective Men, of the Militia, to serve within this State for One Month, from the Time of their Rendezvous, and for no longer Term, and not to be marched out of the same, At the General Assembly of the Governor and Company of the State of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, begun and holden by Adjournment at Newport, within and for the said State, on the Third Monday in August, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-one, in Rhode Island Acts and Resolves, Volume 11 [14], at {40}; Proceedings of the General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at Providence, on the last Monday in January, 1782, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 9, at 508. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 208-209.

    4.) The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 1971), Volume 2, at 3375.

    5.) Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language, First Edition (London, England: W. Strahan, 1755), and Fourth Edition (London, England: W. Strahan, 1773), definition 1 iin both the First (1755) and the Fourth (1773) Editions. (Neither edition serially numbered its pages.)

    6.) Black’s Law Dictionary (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Company, Revised Fourth Edition, 1968), at 1668.

    7.) Hereinafter, the text will refer solely to the Trained Bands, because the distinction between “Trained Bands” and “Troops” in the Militia is the largely adventitious one that the former consisted of infantry, the latter of cavalry. Their tables of organization and equipment differed; but the principles upon which they were raised were identical.

    8.) EN-394 — Acts and Orders of the Generall Assembly, sitting at Newport, May the 3, 1665, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 2, at 115. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 209.

    9.) EN-395 — Proceedings of the Generall Assembly held for the Collony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at Newport, the 1st of May, 1677, in Rhode Island Records, Volume 2, at 570. Also see The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., page 209.

    10.) See The Sword and Sovereignty: The Constitutional Principles of “the Militia of the several States”, Front Royal, Virginia CD ROM Edition 2012, by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Chapter Six.