We haven’t done a blog post in awhile and today while cataloging documents and artifacts from the WWI collection of Sgt. Levi Cox we came across an interesting story.
Sgt. Cox served with Company H, 142nd Infantry Regiment during the “Great War”, which later became known as WWI. Among the items from Sgt. Cox was a ship’s paper from his journey home in May 1919 aboard the USS Pueblo. This small booklet was given out to the soldiers on May 25, 1919. It includes the church schedule, small inspirational paragraphs and the following story:
These two soldiers from the 142nd Infantry Regiment who had survived training, the flu epidemic, combat, and 8 months of occupation had perished on their way home. In searching through our WWI service cards there were a couple of interesting parallels between the soldiers:
both men were older, 32 for Hovey and 30 for Strong
both men had no immediate next of kin listed. Hovey had a friend and Strong had his brother-in-law
Harry Hovey had been born in Brownsville and was living in Mansfield in Tarrant County when he was drafted. Joseph Strong was born in Paris, Tx and was living in Brice in Hall County when he enlisted.
Levi Cox survived the war and kept letters written to his future wife and a small number of other souvenirs to remember his time spent in the “Great War”, a gas mask ( he was gassed during the war, his jacket, his discharge papers,his identification card, a pass to Paris to see the 36th Division play in the football final, and a souvenir map. That he saved this particular ships booklet which mentions the death of a likely friend ( Pvt. Strong who was in the same Company) indicates that the war, and the death of his comrades had impacted his life.
The T-Patch on his jacket is very interesting and likely made by an older French woman he was housed with during the occupation.
Levi Cox during training:
This is just one of many thousands of stories of Texas soldiers who served their county during WWI. As we approach the Centennial of the US involvement in the Great War we hope to bring you more of anecdotes.
It is time again for the annual Texas Military Forces Historical Foundation WWII themed Sweetheart Dinner Dance. The event will take place at the museum on February 15, 2020 starting at 6:30 pm. As always we will feature the talented Sentimental Journey Orchestra under the direction of Ted Connerly and featuring the Memphis Belles singers. Dinner will be provided by Austin Catering, and a photo booth and souvenir glass will add to the vintage atmosphere. Our outstanding silent action will feature items like a ride in the Sherman Tank, themed baskets and much, much more.
Tickets are $100 and can be purchased at the event page , by phone or at the museum. Seating is limited.
We look forward to having you join us for this wonderful unique event hosted by the Texas Military Forces Historical Foundation which supports the Texas Military Forces Museum.
Looking to volunteer? Are you interested in Texas history or military history? Like talking with people? Do you have at least 4 hours a week of time to donate? Then the Texas Military Forces Museum is for you.
The Museum is looking for docents who can work at our front desk greeting visitors. We need people who can work one day a week ( Tuesday through Friday) anytime between 9:30 am to 4 pm. There is no previous experience required. Please contact the museum at email@example.com or 512- 782-5559 for more information.
THE TEXAS MILITARY DEPARTMENT AND THE GARRISON COMMAND HAVE CHOSEN TO CANCEL CAMP MABRY OPEN HOUSE/MUSTER DAY
Muster Day traces it’s roots back to when Texas was still a republic. In the early days, on an annual basis, the troops were ‘mustered’ or called to report. Over the years, the mustering of the troops became obsolete. However, the Texas Military Forces Museum as part of the Texas Military Forces yearly Open House at Camp Mabry, holds a Muster Day where reenactors of all periods from the Texas Revolution through current times can display their historical uniforms, weapons and equipment and show them to the general public. There is a large WWII battle reenactment each day. These battles feature 200 Allied and German soldiers recreating a WWII battle using original equipment, tanks, and weapons from the time period. The museum will be open Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm.
Check back for a complete schedule in March
Gates open at 8 am each day. As well as the museum events, there will be displays by the Texas Military Forces, helicopter demos, First Responders, children’s activities, Vietnam Wall Memorial, and much, much more.
The Texas Military Forces Museum will explore the weapons and tactics of the American Civil War with a special program -Battleground 1863- at Camp Mabry on March 12-13. Visitors will get a chance to get an up close and personal look at how soldiers on both sides lived during the war, as well as see firing demonstrations of some of the Civil War’s most famous weapons. In addition the museum’s living history volunteers will explain the uniforms and equipment used by the troops, why they carried flags into battle and the role of drums and bugles in the war. The intricate maneuvers of infantry formations on the battlefield will also be demonstrated.
Showtime is at 1 pm but the camp areas will be open to the public from 10 am to 4 pm.
Remember the true meaning of Veteran’s Day with this stirring look back at World War II. Close Assault 1944 honors the service and sacrifice of America’s veterans by focusing on the history of the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas Army National Guard during World War II. The free program features members of the Texas Military Forces Living History Detachment exhibiting the uniform and equipment worn by the American GI in the European Theater of the Second World War, as well as those of his German opponent. In addition, the two-day event will provide guests the opportunity to witness firing demonstrations of the most famous U.S. and German small arms of World War II, as well as see everything from tents and radio equipment to GI baseball gloves and mess kits and operational vehicles such as an M4 Sherman Tank, M3 Halftrack and Jeeps.
The event will take place rain or shine and bleachers will be available for seating. Show times are at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 pm. The Texas Military Forces Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the weekend. Both the program and admission to the museum are free.
Camp Mabry is open to the public and adults will need to show a valid photo ID such as a driver’s license or a military ID to come on post.