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Military band, 1st Regiment 1888


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Military band, 1st Regiment 1888

Local militia companies had been the basic units of the Indiana military since before statehood. Except during time of war when called into active duty by the governor, these individual companies had an autonomous existence, writing by-laws and electing officers to suit the whims of the majority of members. Beyond issuing arms from the state armory, the governor and his adjutant general had virtually no control over these various companies until passage of the Militia Law of 1861.

Interest in soldiering declined for several years after the Civil War, but picked up during the 1870s as young men joined a number of short-lived militia companies bearing martial titles such as Fort Wayne Light Guards and Fort Wayne Cadets, and later the Zollinger Gatling Gun Squad, named to honor Colonel Charles Zollinger. German veterans of the Franco-Prussian War elected Herman Hohnholz their captain when they formed the German Military Company in 1888, but they failed to fully comprehend American tactics and the company disbanded two years later.

Excerpt from Allen County History Book

Photo courtesy of The History Center/Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society
302 East Berry Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802
(260) 426-2882


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