Tuesday, August 16, 2016

On This Date in Minnesota History: August 16

August 16, 1916 - The first battalions of the First Minnesota infantry, comprising Company A and B of Minneapolis and C and D of St. Paul, received orders late this evening from General Parker to be in readiness to leave Sunday for patrol along the Texas/Mexican border.

Major Matt L. Higbee’s battalion will do patrol and outpost duty along a front of 12 miles extending from the Mercedes pumping station on the east of the Donna pumping station on the west, with battalion headquarters at Progreso.

These pumping stations are of high importance as they supply water for Mercedes, Camp Llano Grande and the New York troops encamped at Donna. Progreso, at a ford of the Rio Grande, was the scene of a Mexican raid about a year ago.

1st Infantry Regiment Band, Minnesota Army National Guard, Camp Llano Grande, TX1

The selection of troops from the First Minnesota was in line with the comments of army officers after Monday’s divisional review when the regiment was called the best drilled of the nine encamped here. General Parker’s orders to General Lewis, post commander, were characteristically concise. He was instructed to send a battalion “from the best instructed regiment in his command.”

On the advice of Major L. N. Nuttman, senior inspector instructor, the First Minnesota was chosen and Colonel Luce designated Major Higbee’s battalion. Men of the First saw in this honor compensation for the hours of drill and preparation that have been their lot since coming South. To be singled out from the 10,000 troops in camp was gratifying to both officers and men.

The Minnesotans will replace portions of the Twenty-sixth Infantry and a Texas regiment that have been ordered to Harlington. Indications of a long stay are seen in the order to take all equipment, including the pyramidal tents that are used in permanent camps. Lieutenant J. M. Finkleson, adjutant of the battalion, will have charge of supplies for the four posts and command of a motor truck train.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Four Twin City Companies to Go Out on Patrol. Battalion Ordered to Be Ready to Leave Llano Grande on Sunday. Picked From Among Ten Thousand Troops. Will Be Located at Various Pumping Stations, All Being Entrenched.”; Aug. 17, 1916. P. 1.

Camp Llano Grande Historical Marker2

Marker Text:

Occupied in 1916-17 by Indiana, Nebraska, Minnesota and North Dakota National Guard units, Camp Llano Grande was one of a line of encampments established along the Rio Grande in response to Mexican bandit raids into the U.S. Covering over 200 acres, it included a headquarters building, commissary, and recreational facilities. South of the railroad tracks were parade grounds, tent encampments, and stock pens. The camp was abandoned in March 1917, one month before the U.S. entered World War I, and former Llano Grande troops were called for war service in France. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836 – 1986.




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