" those who had weapons were during that time required to register with the government so they could be called up as part of the militia."
As it is today.
The only difference is that it is, in fact, automatic. If you are a citizen (or declared to want to be), not part of the National Guard or Naval Militia, and you are male from 17 to 44, you are part of the UNORGANIZED MILITIA.
10 U.S. Code Â 311 - Militia: composition and classes
Current through Pub. L. 114-38. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.)
(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia areâ"
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.
(Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 14; Pub. L. 85â"861, Ââ1(7), Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1439; Pub. L. 103â"160, div. A, title V, Ââ524(a), Nov. 30, 1993, 107 Stat. 1656.)