From the Richmond Dispatch, 5/4/1861, p. 2
Prepared for Duty. - The Home Guard, of Richmond, which is composed of heads of families, the greater portion of them exempt from military duty, and many of them grey headed, have displayed in the present crisis an alacrity in preparing for defence which is worthy of all praise. That portion of the Guard (which numbers several hundred men in all,) who reside on Church and Union Hills, meet regularly every night in the vicinity of Springfield Hall, where they are drilled by Gen. Brown, a veteran soldier, who was far more than thirty years an officer in the late U. S. Army, but is a true son of Virginia, and ready to take the field at any moment in the defence of the South. The members of the corps are completely armed with weapons purchased, we believe, out of their individual means; and under the instructions of Gen. Brown, are rapidly acquiring the art of war. As their name indicates, they have organized for the purpose of local protection; but we doubt not, if circumstances should require it, that they would be willing to move to any point in the State to repel invasion.