West Virginia, the Mountain State

By Charles H. Ambler; Festus P. Summers | Go to book overview

Chapter XXXVI
With the Colors

THE NATIONAL GUARD

THE WEST VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD has a long and creditable military history. In various units Company D, 201st Infantry, West Virginia National Guard, had practically a continuous existence since it was first organized by Morgan Morgan on February 17, 1735, in present Berkeley County, then a part of Orange County, Virginia. The 150th Infantry, West Virginia National Guard, traced its antecedents to a militia company organized in 1777 in Greenbrier County, (West) Virginia. In various organizations these units had a part in every war in which the United States participated. Units of the 201st Infantry fought in both the Union and the Confederate armies.1

War-weary and distraught, West Virginia disbanded its militia after the Civil War and in 1867 the offices of adjutant general and quartermaster general were combined. In 1871 both of these offices were abolished, and their duties were assigned to the state superintendent of free schools. This arrangement continued to 1877, when the offices were revived and their duties assigned to the state librarian. Because of unrest incident to the railroad strike of 1877, several volunteer companies were organized in the state but no provision was made for training and equipping them.

In compliance with an act of Congress of 1887, the 1889 legislature authorized the establishment of the West Virginia National Guard and separated the office of the adjutant general from that of the state librarian; but the adjutant general was required to perform the duties of quarter- master general. It was under this arrangement that a brigade organization was effected in 1890. The first military code was published in 1905.

In compliance with the National Defense Act of June, 1916, the West Virginia National Guard became a part of the U. S. Expeditionary Forces

____________________
1
West Virginia, Historical Annual National Guard ( 1938), pp. 1, 99.

-521-

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