The New Student's Reference Work/Militia

Mili′tia, the name applied in England and in the United States to the military reserve or purely defensive forces, in America theoretically covers all citizens of ages ranging between 18 and 45 years.  In England it is organized as a national body; in the United States only as a state body, though liable to be called into the federal service in case of need.  The militia in each state is partly organized under an adjutant-general.  It is not unusual for the militia to be called out in case of riots, lynchings or similar disturbances to preserve order within the state.  The militia is liable to be called out for war-service for a period not exceeding nine months; but only for home-defense.  In all essentials it is the old English fyrd or body of freemen in arms.