Protecting the home front: 7th Separate Company of the Missouri Home Guard

By SHSMO Archivist Garret Kremer-Wright

First page of the muster roll of the 7th Separate Company of Infantry, Missouri Home Guards from Cape Girardeau in the spring of 1918.

Southeast Missourian—The United States entered First World War on April 6, 1917, when Congress declared war on Germany, followed by a similar declaration on Austria-Hungary on Dec. 7. American troops would not be sent en masse until 1918. With war being waged, the Missouri National Guard was federalized and sent overseas in August 1917. Without a local defense force, Gov. Frederick D. Gardner felt that the state should be protected against possible enemy infiltration or other unrest occurring within Missouri's borders. Thus he proclaimed the Missouri Home Guard in July 1917. These units were to serve only until...

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