IAGenWeb Iowa in the Great War

Report of the Adjutant General-Iowa 1918


       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 service.

       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.





~reference: Report of the Adjutant General of Iowa for the Biennial Period Ended June 30, 1918, Published by the State of Iowa, Des Moines

~ contributed by Cay Merriman for Iowa in the Great War Special Project an IAGenWeb Special Project

~ transcribed by Constance Diamond for Iowa in the Great War, a IAGenWeb Special Project

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