Volunteer, one who engages in any service of his own accord, particularly one who in time of war offers his services to his country and becomes subject to military discipline and service. The term is also applied to those who offer in a forlorn hope, as it is called, to storm a work, or engage in any enterprise of peculiar danger. In Great Britain the volunteer corps is a reserve force of the army, available for home defence in case of invasion. In 1803, under fear of a French invasion, there were 400,000 volunteers. In 1859, when France menaced England, the corps rose from 15,000 to 150,000 men. The present system began in 1857 with one corps in London and one in Devonshire. In 1871, 211,000 volunteers cost the state £495,225, of which £142,612 was for instruction, arms, accoutrements, and camp equipage. The estimates of 1875-'6 appropriate £437,248 for a force of 1,407 officers and 161,150 men.- The capitation grant of volunteers is 20 shillings, of officers and sergeant instructors 30- shillings. - In the United States there were 70,000 volunteers for the Mexican war (1846-'7), and in the civil war (1861-'5), out of over two million soldiers, all but about 50,000 were volunteers.