Re: 20th Regiment U. S. Infantry, War of 1812
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The minimum age for militia was 18 years of age while the army would enlisted men under 18 if they had a parent or guardian's permission. Musicians were not subject to age limits.
The 20th Regiment of US Infantry was primarily raised in Virginia. Ethelridge either went into VA to enlist or a recruiter came to NC.
He was probably in the militia prior to 1813 but his unit was not called up to serve. He probably enlisted in the army because of the better benefits.