The museum will be open to the public on Monday September 3rd- Labor Day.
Souvenir Playing Cards are Here.
These custom decks feature scenes from our Living History events and the proceeds go to support the museum and its programs. Limited Edition set- Get yours today.
They can be picked up at the museum gift shop or purchased from the Texas Military Forces Historical Foundation online:
Join us for at Mabry Mixer- A History Happy Hour!
These events happen 4 times a year and give you a chance to learn some history, have appetizers and drinks and meet new friends.
Link to the next mixer on December 12: Merry Mabry Mixer
This is a free event for our members and only $10 for non-members. Not a member and want to join? Join the Foundation
Hord’oeuvres, desserts,beer, wine & soft drinks are all complimentary.
Payment may be made at the door
On April 2, 1917 President Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany and on April 6, 1917 war was declared. This week we will be highlighting aspects of the Texas Military Forces in the “Great War” as we begin this Centennial year. Check back daily as we add further details to this blog post.
In February 1917 Maj. Gen. Frederick Funston, commanding general of the Southern District, died in San Antonio, and facilities at the Leon Springs Reservation were named Camp Funston in his honor. Another camp in Kansas was also named Funston, and since Funston was a native of Kansas, the Leon Springs Camp was redesignated Camp Stanley, after Brig. Gen. David S. Stanley, former commander of the Department of Texas. On May 8, 1917, the First Officers Training Camp was established just north of Anderson Hill at Camp Funston. The purpose of the FOTC was to provide in ninety days most of the junior officers for newly formed divisions. The trainees became known as “ninety-day wonders.” In the spring of 1917 a remount station was established at Leon Springs to process and maintain horses used by the mounted arms of the military services. From the TSHA Handbook of Texas History
Pictures of our Texas National Guard soldiers at Leon Springs in the Spring of 1917
World War I was a turning point for the United States, and for Texas. Even before the United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, Texas was mobilized and already significantly engaged in war preparations and supplying the Allies. San Antonio was already touted as Military City USA . The Texas National Guard had been called out for the Punitive Expedition to pursue Pancho Villa in 1916-17. Texas businesses supplied oil, cattle, horses, cotton, and lumber to Europe. Many Texans had volunteered to come to the aid of the Allies (and some German Texans to the Axis) between 1914 and 1917. The British Royal Flying Corps had even operated three flying schools to train Canadian pilots at Camp Taliaferro in Fort Worth.
The earliest unit of the Texas National Guard which was mobilized for WWI was the 117th Supply Train which was attached to the 42nd Rainbow Division. This picture is of Corporal Walter Tips who served with the unit. His family were well known Austinites and the Tips building downtown is named for his grandfather.
Don’t forget to come by our first Mabry Mixer this Wednesday and learn more about America’s entry into WWI.
We haven’t done a blog post in awhile and today while cataloging documents and artifacts from the WWI collection of Sgt. Levi Cox we came across an interesting story.
Sgt. Cox served with Company H, 142nd Infantry Regiment during the “Great War”, which later became known as WWI. Among the items from Sgt. Cox was a ship’s paper from his journey home in May 1919 aboard the USS Pueblo. This small booklet was given out to the soldiers on May 25, 1919. It includes the church schedule, small inspirational paragraphs and the following story:
These two soldiers from the 142nd Infantry Regiment who had survived training, the flu epidemic, combat, and 8 months of occupation had perished on their way home. In searching through our WWI service cards there were a couple of interesting parallels between the soldiers:
- both men were older, 32 for Hovey and 30 for Strong
- both men had no immediate next of kin listed. Hovey had a friend and Strong had his brother-in-law
Harry Hovey had been born in Brownsville and was living in Mansfield in Tarrant County when he was drafted. Joseph Strong was born in Paris, Tx and was living in Brice in Hall County when he enlisted.
Levi Cox survived the war and kept letters written to his future wife and a small number of other souvenirs to remember his time spent in the “Great War”, a gas mask ( he was gassed during the war, his jacket, his discharge papers,his identification card, a pass to Paris to see the 36th Division play in the football final, and a souvenir map. That he saved this particular ships booklet which mentions the death of a likely friend ( Pvt. Strong who was in the same Company) indicates that the war, and the death of his comrades had impacted his life.
The T-Patch on his jacket is very interesting and likely made by an older French woman he was housed with during the occupation.
Levi Cox during training:
This is just one of many thousands of stories of Texas soldiers who served their county during WWI. As we approach the Centennial of the US involvement in the Great War we hope to bring you more of anecdotes.
Thank you to our Dance Sponsors and those who contributed to our Silent Auction.
The museum will be closed on Thanksgiving day but open regular hours 10-4 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Bring your family and friends to visit and work off some of the holiday meal.
It is time again for “As Time Goes By”- a 1940’s themed Supper Club/Sweetheart Dinner Dance. The event will take place at the museum on February 9, 2019 starting at 6:30 pm. As always we will feature the talented Sentimental Journey Orchestra under the direction of Ted Connerly and featuring the Memphis Belles singers. A family style dinner will be provided by Austin Catering, in addition to a photo booth and souvenir glass. Our outstanding silent action will feature items like a ride in the Sherman Tank, themed baskets and much, much more.
Tickets are $100 and can be purchased at our Event Page, by phone or at the museum. Seating is limited.
Want to become a sponsor? Sponorship
We look forward to having you join us for this wonderful unique event hosted by the Texas Military Forces Historical Foundation which supports the Texas Military Forces Museum.