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New York National Guard reported for World War I duty 100 years ago

By Eric Durr
via the web site

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.-- On July 15, 1917, 24,000 members of the New York National Guard began reporting for duty in what was then known as the World War.

NYNG 2New York National Guard Soldiers assigned to Company G, 1st New York State Infantry gather outside their armory in Oneonta, N.Y. sometime in July , 1917 following their mobilization for duty in World War I. The men not in uniform were new recruits. On July 15, 1917 more than 24,000 New York National Guard Soldiers reported for duty and began the process of heading to France to fight the Germans. (Photo Credit: courtesy of New York State Military History Museum)On July 12, President Woodrow Wilson had ordered all 112,000 National Guard Soldiers across the country to report for duty as part of the National Army which was being built to fight the Germans in France.

The United States had declared war on Imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary on April 6 and now an Army had to be sent to France to fight.

The first step was to mobilize the Army's main reserve, which was the National Guard. Wilson's order specified that National Guard Soldiers begin reporting to their local armories for during between July 12 and July 25.

New York's troops, along with those in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska were instructed to report on July 15. Those Soldiers reported to their armories and began preparing to ship out. The Soldiers were allowed to go home each night and report back to the armory each day to continue training.

Almost 17, 000 New York National Guard Soldiers had been on duty along the Mexican border to prevent incursions from the troops of Revolutionary General Pancho Villa during 1916. Some of them and only returned to New York in the spring.

Other New York Soldiers had been guarding railroad bridges, aqueducts, and the Erie Canal to prevent German sabotage.

Read the entire story on the web site here.

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