Menard County Texas

Home Guard

(Note: Menard's "Home Guard" or Militia formed in 1917. A better copy can be seen at the Menard Museum)

My interest in Menard's "Militia" or "Home Guard" began when I found the below April 19, 1917 article about it's formation. Wondering what "dangers" the volunteers were responding to, I found this article published Feb 8, 1917 about Jobe Crawford's brush with Mexican gunfire.

Further research showed the Southwest states were having problems with raids by Mexican rebel leader Pancho Villa in early 1916 and by April 6, 1917, we formally declared war and entered WWI.


MENARD COWBOY HELPS SOLDIERS FIGHT MEXICANS
Nogales, Ariz., Jan. 28
(published Feb 8, 1917)

Menard Messenger:
No doubt it will be of interest to the people of Menard to know that Mr. Jobe Crawford, a Menard boy, was in the thick of the fight yesterday at Arivaca. Mr. Crawford is a cow boy in the employ of the Arivaca Land and Cattle Company, and was one of the six who made the bold dash to the border and drove back the cattle under the grilling fire of the Mexicans. Mr. Crawford has been at Arivaca for six years, knows the surrounding like a book, and has been in many exciting encounters with Mexican bandits, cattle-rustlers and soldiers. Mr. Crawford was in the thick of the fight for thirty-six hours, and with the other cowboys borrowed ammunition from the soldiers when theirs had given out. Army officers say that if it had not been for the daring boldness of the cowboys they could never have resisted the superior force of Mexicans until re-enforcement's arrived, and had it not been for the army officers holding them back, Mr Crawford would have lead a charge of cowboys against the Mexican oppositions.
The fight started in this way: some of the cattle which Mr Crawford and the other cowboys were guarding, strayed toward the Mexican side of the line. When the cowboys rounded them up to drive them back, the Mexicans opened fire. The cowboys returned the fire but, did not scurry for cover until the cattle were securely out of the Mexicans way. After a while the cowboys were re-enforced. Then the fighting began in earnest. All day bullets were whizzing over the heads of the cowboys and soldiers, while others were spattering against the rocks guarding them. Sometimes the firing was desultory for the cowboys were greatly outnumbered and the Mexicans kept well under cover. Mr Crawford is in Nagales today, but, he says that as soon as hostilities become imminent again he will be on hand for the fight.
Signed,
J. S. HART
Machine Gun Company, First Alabama Infantry

 

The Menard Messenger
Vol. 10 No. 25
Thursday, April 19, 1917

(page 1)

HOME GUARD ORGANIZED HERE
Last week a home guard of volunteers was organized for the purpose of protecting the property and lives of our citizens if endangered by "the invasion of alien peoples." While the citizens of Menard are by no means anticipating the coming of a raiding party from the border or the disturbance of local Mexicans who are all friendly to the interests of the United States, they feel there is a possibility of such an occurrence and believe that it is best that home guards should be organized to meet such an emergency should it ever arise.
Each volunteer has pledged himself to have a rifle and 100 rounds of ammunition on hand and hold himself in readiness to answer the call to arms when it comes. John Callan has been chosen captain of the company and Fred Napier and Chas. Patton lieutenants.
There has enrolled nearly seventy-five members and if there is any other loyal citizen who desires to enroll, he will be gladly received.
If you want to join the home guards see John Callan and he will explain the requirements and accept your services.

 

NOTE:  While I strive for accuracy in all transcriptions, please be advised that typing errors may be present.  I would suggest you always verify my online information with a copy of the actual record.

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