The office of the Adjutant General has been a very busy place
during the past two years. The United States has been involved
in two wars during this period. At the beginning of the year
1917 the Iowa National Guard, with the exception of the Field
Artillery, which was mustered out in December, was in Federal
service and was on duty on the Mexican Border guarding the
border states from invasion. The organizations were returned
to their homes early in the year and by March 23, 1917 were
all out of active service.
On March 25, 1917 the
President again issued a proclamation calling into active
service a part of the National Guard from each state,
preparatory to entering the World War. In Iowa the First
Regiment of Infantry was called into service and placed on
duty guarding bridges and munitions plants. By July 15, 1917
all other organizations of National Guard had been called into
In addition to the original units authority was granted for
the organization of three batteries of field artillery, Two
more engineer companies, an ammunition train, a signal corps
company, an ambulance company, a field hospital company. These
were organized according to instructions from the War
Department and mustered into Federal service. Colonel Arthur
Thayer, U. S. Cavalry, was detailed as Mustering Officer of
Iowa on July 14, 1917 and took up his headquarters in the
state house close to the Adjutant General's office.
On August 5, 1917 all men
who had been mustered into National Guard service were drafted
into U. S. service. This took the Guard entirely from under
the control of the state. By the latter part of August all
Iowa units had left the state.
Circular Letter 17, War Department, dated August 24, 1917 gave
the state authority to organize new National Guard
organizations under the National Defense Act of June 3, 1916.
Authority was granted at this time for the immediate
organization of one field hospital, one battalion of field
artillery, and one regiment of infantry. Steps were taken at
once to organize these units and by the latter part of 1918
this had been accomplished with the exception of the field
artillery, of which only one battery was complete.
The hospital unit was organized in Iowa City and was known as
Field Hospital No. 3 in command of Major Frank L. Love. This
organization was inducted into Federal service on August 31,
1917 through the selective service laws by individual
induction. Major Love was later called into Federal service.
The field artillery unit was organized in Burlington and was
known as Battery A., 2nd Field Artillery in command of Captain
Arthur F. Felker. The selective service laws took so many men
out of this organization that the unit was depleted under the
minimum required by the War Department and on October 1, 1918
this battery was disbanded.
The infantry organization was known as the Fourth Regiment.
This organization to the extent of sixteen units was
completely organized by the end of 1918, although only six of
these companies had been given Federal recognition.
As a result of the two wars coming so close together no state
camps of instruction were held during this period. There was
also no rifle practice or matches and no officers' schools,
aside from the training schools for officers and enlisted men
established by the government.
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