Members of the 141st Infantry consider it a special privilege and honor to belong to a regiment that traces its lineage back to the historical days of the Texas Revolution and whose distinctive insignia is symbolical of the present regiment and its forbears' service to state and nation over a period of 100 years of vital history.
Historical documents, records, orders and affidavits, secured through long tedious research in the archives of the Adjutant General's department at Austin and the Historical Section of the War Department, Washington, have proved conclusively that the beginning of the 141st Infantry was Company A, First Regiment, Texas Volunteer Guard, organized in 1836 as the Washington Guards. Other companies, with date of organization, are: Company B, Houston, Light Guards, 1873; Company C, Corpus Christi Rifles, 1875; Company D, San Jacinto Rifles, 1877; Company E, Johnson Guards, 1877; Company F, Bayou City Guards, 1879, and Company G, Fayette Guards, 1880.
During the Spanish-American War, four of the companies of the regiment were in Federal service, Companies B, F, G and H of the First Infantry, Texas Volunteer Guard, were designated in the Federal service as Companies A, C, D and E, First Texas Volunteers, respectively.
The First Texas Volunteer Infantry served in the Army of Occupation in Cuba from December 26, 1898, to March 25, 1899, and upon muster out of Federal service, the regiment returned to state status. In 1903, the regiment was redesignated the First Infantry, Texas National Guard. In 1908, discontinued as an administrative unit, it remained inactive until 1917, when it was reorganized and consolidated with the Second Infantry to form the 141st Infantry.
The Second Infantry, Texas Volunteer Guard, was organized in 1880 from these companies: Company A, Austin Greys, organized in 1876; Company B, Bryan Rifles, 1877; Company C, Brenham Greys, 1877; Company D, the Calvert City Guards, 1879; Company E, Jones Rifles, 1879; Company F, Manning Rifles, 1879, and Company G, Navasota Guards, 1879.
During the Spanish-American War, seven of the companies of the regiment were in Federal service. Companies A, B, C, G and H were Federally designated Companies F, G, H, K and L, First Texas Volunteers, respectively. Company D became Company M of the Second Texas Volunteers, and Company K became Company A of the Second.
Companies A, B, C, G and H served in the Army of Occupation in Cuba from December 26, 1898, to March 25, 1899, and upon muster out of Federal service, reverted to state status.
In 1903, the Second Regiment, Texas Volunteer Guards, was redesignated the Second Infantry, Texas National Guard, and in 1917, the Second Infantry was consolidated with the First Infantry to form the 141st Infantry.
On May 10, 1916, the Second Texas Infantry was mobilized for Mexican Border service, when the entire National Guard was mobilized with stations on the southern border from Brownsville to El Paso. The regiment was federally recognized May 16, 1916, and sent to the Rio Grande Valley area of the border, where it trained until March 23, 1917, when the units were demobilized at their home stations. One week later, the regiment was called back into service because of the strained relations between the Central Powers and the United States. On April 5, 1917, war was declared on Germany. The regiment was again sent to the Mexican Border to release Regular Army troops. In September, 1917, the Second Texas Infantry and the First Texas Infantry were consolidated to form the 141st Infantry, which left the border and arrived at Camp Bowie, Fort Worth, Texas, September 23, 1917, where the entire 36th Division was mobilized and trained.
The regiment sailed from New York July 26, 1918, arrived at Brest, France, August 6, and was sent to the 13th Training Area at Bar sur Aube, where it remained until September 26, 1918, when it began its movement to the front lines, going into the Epernay-Chalons area as reserve of the French Group of Armies of the Center. On October 3, 1918, the 36th Division was attached to the Fourth French Army and on October 6 began the relief of the Second Division, U. S. A. The 71st Brigade (141st and 142nd Infantry) relieved the Ninth and 23rd United States Infantry.
On October 8, the regiment participated in the great offensive in the Champagne sector, writing a glorious page in the regiment's history. On October 28, after three weeks of front line service, the regiment was relieved by the French Army and marched back 150 miles to become part of the First Army Reserve, United States. The division and regiment were scheduled to be sent into the MeuseArgonne battle which was raging, but the signing of the Armistice prevented this. The regiment then moved to the 16th Training Area around Tonnerre, France, where it underwent intensive training for six months. On May 22, 1919, it returned to the United States, arriving in New York, June 3. Sent to Camp Travis, Texas, it was demobilized July 3, 1919. The regimental colors were decorated with the Croix de Guerre by the French at impressive ceremonies in France.
Following the World War, the 141st Infantry was reorganized in 1921, pursuant to G. O. No. 59, AGD-Texas, dated December 14, 1920. The regiment was reorganized by its gallant overseas commander, Colonel Will E. Jackson, who later became Brigade Commander and is now a retired brevet Major General. All units of the regiment were Federally recognized by early in 1922. The regiment was designated the 141st Infantry to perpetuate the history of the 141st Infantry, 36th Division, American Expeditionary Forces, in accordance with Section 3a, National Defense Act of June 4, 1920. (G. O. No. 59, AGD-Texas, December 3, 1920, as amended by G. O. No. 4, AGD-Texas, January 23, 1926.)
It is the only regiment in the Texas National Guard which can, through official records, trace its descent back to the days of the Republic of Texas. Its ancestral unit was the old "Washington Guards," which was organized at old Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas, on March 7, 1836. The original muster roll of this old unit, authenticated by its captain, Captain A. B. Chance, is filed in the archives of the State. The present-day unit which perpetuates the "Washington Guards" is Company A of this regiment.
The 141st Infantry, having established its continued existence since the days of the Texas Revolution and the Republic of Texas, is authorized to bear on its colors three streamers to be attached near the top of the pike. These streamers are of silk 2¾ inches wide and four feet long.
One streamer is blue, and bears near the top a white fivepointer star, followed by the words "Republic of Texas" in white. The other streamer is red and bears the word "San Jacinto" in blue. The third streamer is white and bears the words "The Alamo." All lettering on these streamers is 1½ inches high. (General Orders No. 5, AGD-Texas, May 21, 1931.) The Regiment is also entitled to a silk streamer, in the color of the World War, for its colors, with the inscription, "Meuse-Argonne."
The 141st Infantry's record since 1921 has been one of steady progress and accomplishments. One of its notable achievements has been the honor of receiving the Pershing Trophy for excellence and high qualification in marksmanship with all weapons for the past three years.
"A glorious past inspires a glorious future."