Congress passed a law on Feb. 17, 1864, which required men ages 45 to 50 to enroll in the military. This man enrolled as a senior reserve at Hawkinsville GA, May 18, 1864.
A lot of folks don't see the issue, but Confederate veterans would have been disappointed to have their ancestors call them "Home Guards." Since these men aren't here to plead their case, allow me to explain what they did.
As a senior reserve, Atkisson was enrolled in Confederate military service, received arms, equipment and a uniform from a Confederate quartermaster, marched away to military camp, lived on rations issued by a Confederate commissary, slept on the ground, spent time in a Confederate hospital, and may have been under fire during the war's final year.
None of that would have been true of a home guard, who could sleep in his own bed and enjoy home cooking &c, and pretty much live as he pleased.
Copies of this man's military service file are available here --