When the USS Maine blew up in Havana Harbor on February 15, 1898 things quickly went from bad to worse. On April 25th, Congress declared war and the U.S. began its first mobilization since the Civil War. During the conflict, Virginia’s four volunteer regiments were called up. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th were chosen for national service. On June 3, they arrived in Jacksonville, Florida and were assigned to the Seventh Army Corps. Most men returned home by the time the Peace Treaty was signed in December, but the 4th took part in the occupation forces in Cuba. They served there until March 27, 1899.
The Virginia Guard arrived in Brownsville, Texas in July 1916. While the Regular Army went into Mexico to unsuccessfully try to apprehend Pancho Villa, the National Guard protected the Border, kept order, and sought to prevent Texans from selling guns to Mexicans, who could in turn use these weapons against our troops. During their time in Texas, The Guard had the opportunity to train in trenches and learn critical tactics that would prove vital in France.