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In December of 1819, the first company of Missouri Volunteer Militia was organized under the name of St. Louis Guards with Henry W. Conway as captain. In 1822 the St. Louis troop of cavalry was formed with Archibald Gamble as captain, and in 1832 the St. Louis Grays, with Martin Thomas as captain, came into existence. In 1834 the St. Louis Marions, of which David B. Hill, was captain, was organized. These, with other militia organizations, participated in the Black Hawk war. These companies were all incorporated in the St. Louis Legion, which participated in the Mexican war. Upon the return from this service all the companies except the St. Louis Grays were disbanded. In September, 1853, the St. Louis Grays was expanded into the First Batallion, consisting of Company A (St. Louis Grays), Captain Henry Prosser; Company B, Captain Ezra O. Eylich; Company C, Captain David I. Morrow; Company D, Captain John H. Wells; Company E, Captain Jasper Benecke; Company F (Carondolet Grays), Captain Madison Miller; Company E (Young American Grays), Captain Benjamin E. Walker. Prior to the Civil war the First Battalion had become the First Regiment and participated in the southwestern expedition in November, 1860, under the command of Major John N. Pritchard. The adjutant of the regiment at that time was John S. Cavender whose son, John H. Cavender, was afterwards lieutenant-colonel of the regiment during the Spanish-American war. In 1852 we have a record of the First Missouri Regiment, commanded by Colonel John W. Crane, with the following companies: Black Plume Riflemen, Captain Ed. E. Allen; Union Riflemen, Captain Louis Frey; Missouri Riflemen, Captain Bernard Laibold; Continental Rangers, Captain W.S. Stewart; St. Louis Light Guard, Captain John C. Smith; National Guards, Captain R.M. Renick; St. Louis Grays, Captain George Knapp; Missouri Dragoons, Captain F. Brinkman; St. Louis Lancers, Captain C.D. Wolff; Mounted Rifles, Captain Frederick Walter; St. Louis Light Artillery, Captain Henry Almstedt. In 1856 General D. M. Frost, who had been appointed to the command of the First Missouri Brigade, reorganized the regiment under the command of Colonel John N. Pritchard, with the following companies: Company A (St. Louis Grays), Captain John B. Knapp; Company B (National Guards), Captain John B. Gray; Company C (Washington Guards), Captain Patrick Gorman; Company D (Emmett Guards), Captain Thomas Floyd Smith; Company E (Washington Blues), Captain Joseph Kelly; Compay F (Washington Blues, Company B), Captain William Wade; Company G (Missouri Guards), Captain George W. West; Company H (National Guards, Company B), Captain Benjamin E. Walker; Company I (City Guards), Captain George A. Schaefer. In the fall of 1860 Governor Stewart sent the regiment to the western border to protect the citizens of that section against the raids of the so-called Kansas Jayhawkers. The regiment left St. Louis Sunday morning, November 23, 1860, and travelling by rail to Smithton, a station just this side of Sedalia, arriving there the next day about noon. The regiment was under the command of Lieutenant Colonel John Knapp. On the following day they marched out of Smithton to Vernon county, passing through Henry county to Papinsville in Bates county (then Vernon county). After a stay of a week in that neighborhood the regiment marched back to Sedalia and was transported from there by rail home, arriving in St. Louis December 16, 1860. The First Regiment as a part of the State Militia had been ordered to Camp Jackson by Governor Jackson and were there captured by General Blair and Lyon on May 10, 1861. This disbanded the regiment and its members drifted into the Union and Confederate armies and rendered conspicious service on both sides in the Civil war. The regiment was reorganized in 1869 under the command of Colonel Samuel A. Lowe with the following companies: Company A, Captain Albert Mansfield; Company B, Captain Don C. Thatcher; Company C, Captain James H. Thornton; Company D, Captain John I. Martin; Company E, Captain A. J. Fuchs, Jr.; Company F, Captain T. B. Sullivan; Company G, Captain George A. Maguire; Company H, Captain John C. Devlin; Company I, Captain George N. Herbert; Simpson''s Battery, Captain Andrew Franklin. Following the labor riots in 1877, a battalion known as the St. Louis National Guard Battalion was organized with Charles E. Pearce as its Major. During the following years additional companies were added and the battalion was expanded into a regiment, designated the First Regiment, National Guard of Missouri. George O. Carpenter, Jr., was elected colonel on August 16, 1879. He was succeeded by Colonel George J. Chapman on February 8, 1881. Colonel Chapman was succeeded by Colonel Dennis P. Slattery on April 12, 1883. About the same time several companies were formed in the southern and western portions of the city and armed with rifles furnished by the police department and constituted the Police Reserves under command of Colonel James G. Butler. This regiment later became the Third Regiment. On June 27, 1884, the Third Regiment was consolidated with the First Regiment, the two organizations becoming the First Regiment, National Guard of Missouri, under the command of Colonel James G. Butler, who was originally commissioned November 21, 1881, as Colonel of the Third Regiment Infantry. Colonel Butler was succeeded by Colonel Edward D. Meier on July 23, 1884. The Legislature having failed to make an appropriation for military purposes, the regiment was mustered out of service in May, 1886. In the late summer of 1887, through the efforts of Lieutenant (afterward Colonel) Edwin Batdorf, a battalion was organized which later was expanded into a regiment and became the First Regiment, National Guard of Missouri, under the command of Colonel Charles D. Comfort, who was commissioned October 8, 1888. Colonel Moses C. Wetmore succeeded Colonel Comfort on May 30, 1892, and was in turn succeeded by Colonel Edwin Batdorf, who commanded it during the Spanish-American war. Upon the reorganization of the regiment following the Spanish war, Captain Clarence A. Sinclair was made its colonel and commissioned September 18, 1899. He was succeeded by Colonel Frank B. McKenna on February 28, 1904. On July 5, 1906, Colonel E.J. Spencer was commissioned Colonel and he was in turn succeeded Colonel Nelson G. Edwards on March 31, 1913. Colonel Edwards was succeeded on May 18, 1914, by Colonel Arthur B. Donnelly who commanded the regiment during its service on the Mexican Border, and was in command when it was called into federal service in the war against Germany March 25, 1917. The regiment has participated in the following camps of instruction: State camp, Sweet Springs, July 12-17, 1886: regimental camp, Mexico, July 9-14, 1890; brigade camp, Lake Contrary (near St. Joseph August 10-16, 1891; regimental camp, Meremac Highlands, July 14-22, 1894; regimental camp of instruction at Moberly, (Camp Moore), July 7-14, 1895; regimental camp, Springfield (Camp Stone), July 4-12, 1896; regimental camp, Fulton, July 4-11, 1897; provisional regiment consisting of six companies commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Cavender, at Springfield, to participate in the reunion of the survivors of the battle of Wilson Creek during August, 1897; brigade camp, St. Joseph (Camp Folk), July 9-16, 1905; provisional brigade camp with Sixth Regiment and Battery A at Cape Girardeau, July 15-22, 1906; brigade camp, Lake contrary (near St. Joseph), August 11-19, 1907; Maneuvers at Fort Riley, Kansas, August 20-30, 1908; brigade camp, State Rifle Range, at Nevada, July 19-25, 1909; brigade camp, State Rifle Range, Nevada, August 20-27, 1911; brigade camp, State Rifle Range, Nevada, July 7-13, 1912; brigade camp, State Rifle Range, Nevada, August 24-31, 1913; regimental camp, Cape Girardeau, July 12-19, 1914; regimental camp, Louisiana, July 11-18, 1915. In March 1885, the exact date not being shown by the records, the regiment was called out by Governor Marmaduke for duty in connection with the railroad strike of that year at Sedalia. The troops were stopped at Centertown and held there for seven days awaiting developments at Sedalia. While the regiment was not actually used at the scene of disorder, the report of the adjutant-general of that year states that the fact that they were at a nearby town had the effect of restoring law and order. Following the tornado of May 29, 1896, in St. Louis, the First Regiment was called out and rendered effective service in patrolling the devastated district and in the work of rescue. The regiment attended the Washington Centenial in New York, April 30, 1889, and participated in the ceremonies incident to the funeral of General William T. Sherman at St. Louis on February 21, 1891. Two provisional companies from the regiment participated in the dedication of the World''s Fair at Chicago, Oct. 20-22nd, 1892. During the dedication of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St. Louis, April 30, 1903, it performed police duty on the exposition grounds and participated in all of the important ceremonies during the exposition, including St. Louis Day and the dedication of the Missouri buildings, as well as Missouri Day, October 11, 1904. When the President called for volunteers in the war with Spain the regiment volunteered to a man. It reported at Jefferson Barracks May 4, 1898, and was mustered into federal service May 13, 1898. On May 18, 1898, it moved to Chickamauga, Ga., where it was assigned to the First Brigade, First Division, Third Army Corps. The regimental commander, Colonel Edwin Batdorf, was assigned to the command of the brigade on June 1, 1898, and commanded the same during the time the regiment remained at Camp Thomas. The regiment returned to Jefferson Barracks on September 6, 1898, and was formally mustered out of federal service on October 31, 1898. The field officers were Colonel Edwin Batdorf, Lieutenant-Colonel John H. Cavender, Major Alvarado M. Fuller, Major Alfred Q. Kennett, Major Clarence A. Sinclair. The companies composing the regiment in this service were: Company A (St. Louis), Captain George F. A. Brueggeman; Company B (St. Louis), Captain James Z. Burgee; Company C (St. Louis), Captain Leroy K. Robbins; Company D (St. Louis) Captain Charles W. Holtcamp; Company E (St. Louis), Captain Albert A. Marquardt; Company F (St. Louis), Captain Edward V. Walsh; Company G (St. Louis), Captain Adolph L. Marks; Company H (St. Louis), Captain Lewis M. Rumsey, Jr.; Company I (St. Louis), Captain Joseph McDonnell; Company K (St. Louis), Captain Clifford B. Allen; Company L (St. Louis), Captain William P. Lynn; Company M (St. Louis), Captain Charles W. Barstow, Jr. When the President ordered the mobilization of the National Guard for duty on the Mexican Border this regiment was the first to reach mobilization camp at Nevada. It was inducted into federal service on June 25, and on July 1 it departed for Laredo. It remained on duty at Laredo until September 2, 1916, when it was returned to Camp Clark and was finally released from federal service on September 25, 1916.
by Dave Lossos