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    Pilgrim1226's Avatar
    Pilgrim1226 Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Nov 28, 2008, 04:14 PM
    31st Battalion US Guards in WWI
    My wife's grandfather served with the 31st Battalion of the US Guards in WWI. We recently discovered a photo of his battalion in their training camp at Ft. Ethan Allen.

    We are curious to find out about his unit or the US Guards in general. I am not familiar with military research and have mostly only found burial references for those who served in other battalions of the US Guards.

    Does anyone out there know more about this unit, the US Guards in general or, at least, some resources to which I may refer with more information on this or its type?

    Thanks so much in advance for any information.
    Clough's Avatar
    Clough Posts: 26,677, Reputation: 1649
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    #2

    Nov 28, 2008, 06:07 PM

    Hi, Pilgrim1226!

    If it's the United States Coast Guards to which you're referring, then their website can be found via clicking on the following link.

    United States Coast Guard - Home Page

    Thanks!
    Pilgrim1226's Avatar
    Pilgrim1226 Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Nov 29, 2008, 09:18 PM

    Clough, thanks but, no. I am referring to a US Army unit. From the little I have read so far in reference to this unit, it was originally intended to be made up of men either old or young (by military standards) who would be guarding US sites to allow those men to go to active duty in France with the AEF. I may have misunderstood, though. The gentleman in question went overseas, though, in late 1918 not long before Armistice and was wounded in the head by shrapnel so he was definitely in a combat unit.
    Clough's Avatar
    Clough Posts: 26,677, Reputation: 1649
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    #4

    Nov 30, 2008, 03:24 AM

    Thanks, Pilgrim1226!

    If this is about an army unit, then if you go to the following website, persons there might be able to lead you in the right direction as far as finding historical information.

    The United States Army Homepage

    Thanks!
    Pilgrim1226's Avatar
    Pilgrim1226 Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Nov 30, 2008, 07:24 PM

    Thanks VERY Much, Clough.

    I have been to the Army site but, didn't think to try asking them my question. DUH!

    I'll give it a try!
    poilu's Avatar
    poilu Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #6

    Aug 24, 2011, 08:44 PM
    I believe the "US Guards" refers to the US National Guards, and in this case the Vermont National Guard. During WW1 the National Guards of many if not all the States in the US were made a part of the US Army and given new Army unit designations. This was especially so with the National Guards from New England and other Northeastern states.
    Do you have the unit photo?
    poilu's Avatar
    poilu Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Aug 24, 2011, 08:49 PM
    Also, I have seen a unit photo of company C of the 31st Battalion. The men are holding American Made Russian Mosin-Nagant rifles. I would love to have an original (or good scans).
    Woebegun's Avatar
    Woebegun Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #8

    Dec 8, 2011, 12:45 PM
    Pilgrim 1226:

    The U.S. Guards were indeed a part of the U.S. Army. The Federal government created the U.S. Guards, National Army, through General Order 162, on 22 December 1917. And they were formed from the "Regular" Army (what today we call the "active" Army), not from the National Guard or other reserve forces -- largely but not exclusively from Soldiers who were considered unfit for deployment overseas to France. At its height, the U.S. Guards totaled some 1,364 commissioned officers and 26,796 enlisted men.

    You are also correct that not much has been written about this organization. In fact, I am currently working with a compatriot here at the Army War College to produce a short article about the U.S. Guards. Once it is completed, I will try to post a link to it here. [Unfortunately, it may be several months yet both because of the research efforts involved and because it is a 'as time permits' effort for each of us rather than a part of our assigned duties here].

    JK (US Army, retired)
    Pilgrim1226's Avatar
    Pilgrim1226 Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #9

    Dec 8, 2011, 09:51 PM
    Woebegun,

    Thank you very much for your feedback. I had practically forgotten about my post.

    I would love it if you were so kind as to try to post a link regarding the article when completed. If you have, or will include in your article, such things as to which division or major unit my "grandfather-in-law" might have been included, that would be a delight. He was from here in Oregon but, did end up at Ft. Ethan Allan in Vermont for his training. Any information will likely be far more than we presently have.

    In case Poilu is reading this, as well, we do have a photo of the unit, though in the photo the troops are not carrying weapons.
    Pilgrim1226's Avatar
    Pilgrim1226 Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #10

    Dec 8, 2011, 10:09 PM
    Woebegun,

    A correction. It was not until much later than my wife's grandfather came to Oregon. He actually went to Vermont from Wakeeny, Kansas to serve in the US Guards.

    My wife has offered to share copies of any documents and specific information about her grandfather's story with you should you care to have it. She has, I believe, his discharge documents and we have a photo of the battalion taken at Ft Allen.
    poilu's Avatar
    poilu Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #11

    Dec 9, 2011, 07:22 AM
    I have been looking for photos of units out of Fort Ethan Allen in Vermont. Would it be possible to have a full length digital image made of the unit photo? If you know a good photographer a digital photo can be taken of the unit photo- this is also a good way to preserve the original.
    Pilgrim1226's Avatar
    Pilgrim1226 Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
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    #12

    Dec 9, 2011, 09:04 PM
    Hello, Poilu!

    The photo we have of the battalion is presently framed and matted in an archival backing. I don't know how troublesome it might be to get it out of that or whether we can digitize it in the frame without problems so let me chat with my wife about that as I think she'd be willing if we can just make sure not to damage it or give you a badly digitized print.
    poilu's Avatar
    poilu Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
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    #13

    Dec 9, 2011, 09:39 PM
    I had a unit photo photographed while it was still in the frame. A good photographer can do this and have the picture behind the glass show really well.
    9044's Avatar
    9044 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #14

    Jun 6, 2012, 10:23 PM
    I found this information about the Guards when I located an obituary for a soldier who died at Camp Ethan Allen, Vermont in 1918 during the flu epidemic. I have a 3rd cousin who also served in the 31st Battalion of the UD Guards. I hope this answers your question.

    The United States Guards were a formation of the United States Army created to guard strategic installations and areas in order to free infantry regiments for war service during World War I. The Guards were created on 22 December 1917 and were controlled by the Chief of the Militia Bureau. They eventually comprised 48 battalions of men who were either too old or physically unfit for active service.

    Roy Smith
    chief9901's Avatar
    chief9901 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #15

    Jun 29, 2013, 10:28 AM
    I have been searching for information about the unit my late father served in for a short time during WW 1. Unfortunately most records were destroyed in a fire at the Saint Louis facility and to date I have been stonewalled. I just saw your post and see that you were researching the U.S. Guards. My father, Alfred H. Phelps, served with Co. C4th BN. U.S. Guards from June, 1916 until December, 1916, but I have no idea where he served or if he saw combat. I know that he had a wound on his back that later developed into Tuberculosis, which eventually led to his death in 1950. I also know that my mother later received a pension and I was told by her that I qualified for college tuition assistance as a war orphan. Since your post was some years ago I do not know if this will reach you or if you indeed have additional information. If it does reach you and you have been successful in researching the Guards, I humbly ask that you share your information with me.
    Respectfully,
    Seth Phelps 251-979-9911 (chief@gulftel.com

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