Thirty-seven years ago tonight, on Friday, June 23, 1916, a big parade was held on the streets of Warsaw in honor of the boys of Co. H, the local national guard company. The festivities were planned on the company's last night at home before leaving for Fort Benjamin Harrison, where there were to be mustered into the U. S. Army and sent to the Mexican border. During the course of the evening's program, Winona Lake evangelist Billy Sunday presented the company with a beautiful new silk United States flag.
The following morning at 7 a.m. the men were given a big send-off as they boarded the train at the local Big Four depot.
The troubles with Mexico just prior to World War I served as an incentive for state militias throughout the country to mobilize for war and to earnestly train for actual combat. During the years prior to 1916 Co. H. usually could not enlist a sufficient number of men to be considered up to full war strength of 65 men. Because membership usually stood at about 40, it was sometimes rumored that the company would have to be disbanded or merged with an adjoining county's unit. This would have hurt local pride, because Co. H. had been the pride and joy of the local area for some time. Its rifle teams had stood well in front for years. When the Mexican trouble began, the company was able to recruit additional men to bring the unit close to full war strength.
At about noon on Monday the 19th Capt. Carl Beyer of Co. H. received a telegram giving him orders to report when the company was ready to move. That Monday afternoon and evening there was much activity in Warsaw and Kosciusko county. The court house bell was sounded--five taps at short intervals; this was the recognized signal for the calling of the militia. The company was recruited to full war strength in a very short time, and Capt. Beyer reported that the company was ready to move. the war department immediately sent orders for Co. H to report to Fort Benjamin Harrison on the following Saturday. The Friday night parade mentioned earlier was the climax of a week of feverish activity in our county.
Warsaw Times-Union Wed. June 24, 1953