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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Chapter 94: History of the National Guard Company of Mohawk.

[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 1387-1392 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. Some images have been relocated to the area in the text where they are discussed. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Remington Rifle Corps of 1878 — 31st Separate Co. Infantry, N. G. S. N. Y., 1878 — Co. G, 2nd Regt., N. G. S. N. Y. (in the Spanish-American War, 1898) — Co. G, 4th Battalion, N. G. S. N. Y., 1900 — Co. M, 1st Regt. N. G. S. N. Y., 1905 — Mustered into federal service, July 15, 1917 — Camp at Weller Park, Mohawk — Co. M, 107th Regt., 27th Division, U. S. A., in the World War — One officer, 28 men killed in action overseas — Battles in Belgium and France — Co. M, 1st Pioneer Regt. — 237 men from the Mohawk Armory in World War service — New York Guard Company M, 10th Regt., Sept. 17, 1917 to 1921 — Co. I, 10th Regt., N. G. S. N. Y., April 17, 1922 — 1923 Winners of Remington and Du Pont trophies for National Guard company marksmanship.

The history of the Mohawk Company is essentially a part of the history of Herkimer County. At all times since its organization the company has drawn its membership from the various towns of the county. The number of men who, from time to time, have been on its muster rolls would number in the thousands. Among its members have been many prominent men of the county; legislators, physicians, bankers, lawyers and business men, — all of whom owe their military training to the companies stationed at the armory.

Early in 1878 a military company was formed at Mohawk for the purpose of contesting with a company located at Herkimer. A sham battle was fought on the Herkimer County Fair Grounds. The Mohawk company, commanded by Captain Brazie, represented the Union and the Herkimer company, commanded by Captain Charles Rielly, represented the rebels, both commanders being veterans of the Civil War. A great crowd witnessed the battle, which was won by the Mohawk company. This victory, no doubt, had a bearing on the permanency of the local organization.

In the fall of the same year, the company, with a membership of seventy men, assumed the name "Remington Rifle Corps," in honor of Eliphalet Remington, of the firm of E. Remington & Sons of Ilion, New York, this firm contributing $200 toward the support of the company. The first drill hall was in an old livery barn on Otsego Street, Mohawk, standing where the Bates Theater is now located. Every drill night the company had to pull out a large number of vehicles from the floor before commencing to drill and replace them afterwards. But they were enthusiastic and willing and it was this spirit and perseverence that kept the company up and won it many honors in after years. In the meantime the Herkimer company had continued in existence and when Mohawk decided to apply for a place in the National Guard, Herkimer also sent delegates to Albany for the same purpose. Mohawk's application was favorably passed upon and the company was assembled for muster on November 18, 1878. Following this came the order making the company a unit of the New York National Guard. The following is a copy of the original order:

"General Headquarters, State of New York.
"Adjutant General's Office.
"Albany, N. Y.

"November 25, 1878.

"Special Orders No. 226.

"Application having been properly made for the formation of a company of the National Guard at Mohawk, N. Y., said company is hereby organized as the Thirty-first Separate Company of Infantry, National Guard, State of New York, with the following named officers:

"Captain Jacob Brazie, First Lieutenant William H. Schall, Second Lieutenant Thomas Corcoran.

"The commanding officer is to report to Major General James B. Carr, commanding Third Division, National Guard.

"By order of

"J. B. Stonehouse, Assistant Adjutant General."

All of these officers were veterans of the Civil war, as were many of the enlisted men.

When the company was admitted to the Guard, application was made for an armory and for equipment for 100 men. The equipment was allowed for 70 men and the company was ordered to rent a place for drilling. They purchased furniture on credit to be paid for out of a company fund of $250 a year. The county also made an appropriation of $300. The company then rented from Cyrus Woodruff a block on Otsego Street; quarters, offices and club rooms were on the first floor and the drill shed (35x60) on the second floor. In these quarters the Mohawk company passed many prosperous years.

The first uniform adopted was cut after the West Point model, grey faced with black, a grey hat with a small pompom. Later the company secured its famous bearskin shakos. At that time the units of the Guard did not dress uniformly and anything in the line of dress was permissible.

During its early days, as now, some of the members were noted among the best rifle shots in the state. The company was also widely noted for its military appearance and close order drill. The majority of the men were "six footers" and with their West Point uniforms and shakos presented a commanding appearance. The company obtained the most favorable mention from the Washington papers when it took part in the inaugural parade of President Garfield in 1881. So fine was its "company front" that rousing cheers were evoked all along the line of march.

In the meantime the company had outgrown its quarters on Otsego Street and the question of a permanent armory became prevalent. After the question had been agitated for four years, the state made an appropriation of $15,000 for the armory. The law at that time was that wherever an appropriation was made for an armory, the county receiving the same was to furnish the site. At a special session of the supervisors in August, 1888, the northern towns of the county opposed the purchase of a site and were unfavorable to the company as an organization, on the grounds of the expense it would be to the county. Three different times the plan was brought before the board and repeatedly rejected, until finally the appropriation lapsed. In the meantime the plans had come through for the armory and it was found that $15,000 would not erect the building according to the submitted plans. In 1889 an agreement was reached and a new appropriation of $22,000 was obtained from the state. The supervisors purchased the lot and the present armory was erected on East Main Street, Mohawk, in 1891.

At the outbreak of the Spanish-American war the company was called into service and assigned to the Second New York Volunteer Regiment as Company G on May 12, 1898. This regiment did not see actual service and was mustered out on November 1, 1898. On November 19, 1898, it was assigned to Company G, Second Regiment, N. Y. N. G. Again on November 9, 1900, it was transferred to the Fourth Battalion, N. Y. N. G., as Company G. In 1905 it was assigned as Company M, First Regiment, N. Y. N. G., and remained the same until the breaking up of the old First Regiment. The company was called out on strike duty at New York Mills, guarding that property from April 4th to 17th, 1912.

On March 4, 1913, the company again visited Washington, participating in the inaugural parade of President Wilson.

When diplomatic relations were severed with Germany, the company was ordered out to guard the New York aqueduct, leaving the home station February 4, 1917, and was relieved April 12, 1917. After declaration of war with Germany, the company was mustered into Federal service July 15, 1917, and went into camp at Weller Park, Mohawk, where it was in field training until August 17, 1917, when it left for mobilization camp at Van Cortlandt Park, later going to Spartansburg, where the Twenty-seventh Division was trained. The general order of October 1st, abolishing the First Regiment, N. Y. N. G., led to the breaking up of the Mohawk company. On October 18, 1917, two officers and 103 men were transferred to Company M, One Hundred and Seventh Regiment, serving throughout the duration of the war with the Twenty-seventh Division. Of these men one officer and twenty-eight men were killed in action. The company headquarters and several enlisted men were transferred to Company M, First Pioneer Regiment, serving with that regiment overseas and with the Army of Occupation in Germany.

Company M's battle record overseas: East Poperinghe line, Belgium, July 9 to August 20, 1918; Dickebusch Sector, Belgium, August 21 to 30, 1918; Battle of Hindenburg Line, Bony, France, September 29-30, 1918; Battle of La Selle River, St. Souplet, France, October 17, 1918; Battle of Jonc-de-Mer Ridge, Arbre-Guernon, France, October 18, 1918; St. Maurice River, Catillon, France, October 19-20, 1918. Mohawk Armory sent 237 men to the World war from Company M and the New York Guard company which succeeded it during the war.

After the departure of Company M for the World war a new company was formed and mustered into the service of the N. Y. G. as Company M, First Regiment, N. Y. G., September 27, 1917; it was transferred to Company M, Tenth Regiment, N. Y. G., November 22, 1917. During the time of the war the new company had ninety men on active duty at different times guarding public property. During the same period seventy-five members of the company either enlisted or were drafted into the Federal service.

[Photo: Co. I, 10th Infantry, N. G. S. N. Y. Champion 1923 National Guard Marksmen]

On March 21, 1921, the company received Federal recognition and again became a member of the National Guard. On April 17, 1922, the company's letter was changed to I and it became I of the Tenth Regiment. Since its organization, the new company has maintained an efficient and enviable reputation. At all times its personnel has been composed of a good clean type of men, and it ranks among the best companies of the National Guard in armory and field training. While the Mohawk companies have always had a high shooting reputation, to the new company, since its organization, must go the most honors. Since starting its record shooting in 1919, it has won the Fifty-third Brigade "Figure of Merit Prize" four times — first prize in 1920, second prize in 1921, first prize in 1922, and again first in 1923. In 1923 it also won the Remington Trophy for the National Guard company having the greatest number of first year, qualified marksmen, and the DuPont Trophy for the National Guard company showing the greatest efficiency in national marksmanship. The 1923 company topped them all with sixteen experts, fifteen sharpshooters and thirty-two marksmen; a total of sixty-three Class A men and fifteen Class B men; a total of seventy-eight qualified marksmen from a company of ninety-four men. With these merits, Company I takes its place as the best National Guard company in rifle marksmanship in the United States.

The officers of Company I since its federalization are; Captain, C. A. Carroll; first lieutenant, Harold Murphy; second lieutenant, G. W. Wilkinson.

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