(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.
COWBOY HELPS SOLDIERS FIGHT MEXICANS
Nogales, Ariz., Jan. 28
(published Feb 8, 1917)
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.
J. S. HART
Machine Gun Company, First Alabama Infantry
The Menard Messenger
Vol. 10 No. 25
Thursday, April 19, 1917
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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Alicia Brown unless otherwise noted. You are free to copy or print out
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