National Guard Cavalry Brigades In The Beginning Of World War II

Submitted By ftlee2014
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At the start of World War I the War Department organized two National Guard Cavalry brigades as part of the Army’s wartime expansion, and assigned them to relieve regular Army Cavalry brigades patrolling the Mexico-United States border after the Pancho Villa Expedition.[1] The unit allocated to Texas was fielded as 1st Texas Cavalry Brigade, and commanded by Brigadier General Jacob F. Wolters (namesake of Fort Wolters). The War Department planned to mobilize the brigade for overseas service, but the war ended before training was complete, and soldiers were demobilized in late 1918 and early 1919.[2] The brigade was reorganized as 1st Cavalry Brigade on August 23, 1919, and General Wolters remained in command. The task organization for the brigade also included the 111th Cavalry Regiment in New Mexico.[3] Post-World War I[edit] In 1921 the 1st Cavalry Brigade was renamed the 56th Cavalry Brigade and assigned to the 23rd Cavalry Division as part of the Army’s post-World War I reorganization of the National Guard.[4][5] Soldiers of the 56th Cavalry were called out several times to quell civil disturbances, including: the Longview Race Riot of 1919;[6] the Galveston Longshoreman's Strike of 1920;[7] the Mexia and Borger Oil Field Booms of 1922[8] and 1929;[9] the booms in the East Texas oil fields in 1931[10] and 1932;[11] and the response following a hurricane in 1932.[12] Wolters commanded troops on state active duty so often that he published a manual on use of the National Guard in reestablishing law and order following riots and natural disasters.[13] In 1929 the 111th Cavalry Regiment was made a separate organization, and the newly organized 124th Cavalry Regiment was added to the 56th Cavalry Brigade, making it a completely Texas National Guard organization.[14] World War II[edit] In 1940 the 56th Cavalry Brigade headquarters was federalized for World War II.[15] The 56th was the last cavalry brigade in the United States to have horses, and in 1944 the headquarters was reorganized as the 56th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop (Mechanized).[16] The new unit was demobilized in November, 1945, following the end of World War II. The brigade headquarters and re-organized reconnaissance troop did not deploy overseas or see combat, but the 112th and 124th Cavalry, the regiments