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REPORT OF ADJUTANT GENERAL.
GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, NATIONAL GUARD OF WASHINGTON,
ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE,
HISTORY OF THE NATIONAL GUARD OF WASHINGTON. A reference to section 1856 of the Revised Statutes of the United States will disclose the provision of congress relative to the election of general officers of the militia in the several territories, which is as follows:
"SEC. 1856. Justices of the peace, and all general officers of the militia in the several territories, shall be elected by the people in such manner as the respective legislatures may provide by law."
This act was approved January 23, 1873.
Under the provisions of the foregoing recited section of the act of congress, all general officers of the militia of the Territory of Washington were nominated in general convention, and the names of the nominees submitted at the general election with the other candidates presented for the suffrage of the people.
So little attention was paid to the several offices of adjutant, quartermaster, and commissary general of militia, that they were peddled out by the conventions to whomsoever could be induced to accept the nomination, regardless of the fact that the offices were of sufficient importance to demand the attention of the incumbents.
At the territorial republican convention held at the city of Vancouver, in 1880, of which the Hon. E. P. Ferry was chairman, and R. G. O'Brien secretary, the same rule was followed as previously, and, under the vigorous protests of the several gentlemen, Mr. M. R. Hathaway, of Clarke county, was nominated for adjutant general, Mr. R. G. O'Brien, of Thurston county, was nominated for quartermaster general, and Mr. D. K. Busb, of Pacific county, for commissary general, upon the republican ticket.
The gentlemen nominated were elected to the several offices by large majorities, Mr. O'Brien receiving the largest majority ever received by a candidate upon either ticket up to that time, aggregating about ten thousand.
Upon taking office as quartermaster general, Mr. O'Brien gathered, from different quarters, territorial military property to the value of about ten thousand dollars; and, at the request of Gen. M. R. Hathaway, the adjutant general, discharged the duties of that office in connection with that of quartermaster general during his entire term.
At this time there were no military organizations in the state with any standing under the law, which of itself was so inadequate in its provisions as to bar encouragement in the organization of the militia of the territory.
At the expiration of his term of office as quartermaster general, General O'Brien was nominated and elected adjutant general; and, thereafter, in 1883, organized the first military company, known as company A, of the first regiment, of the present national guard of the state, at the city of Olympia, and assumed command of the same until such time as he secured a competent commander.
This organization was followed by that of the Seattle Rifles, now company B, of the first regiment, with Joseph Greene as captain; the Tacoma Guard, now company C, of the same regiment, with Albert Whyte as captain; and company D, of Seattle, with John C. Haines as captain.
These companies were kept together solely through the military ardor of the members, and the martial spirit of their friends; there being at that time no provision of law whereby the territory could be charged with any expense incident to the organization of the militia. A futile effort was made by the adjutant general to secure the passage by the legislature of the law providing for organiza. tion, maintenance and discipline of the militia, which failed of the legislative recognition it so richly deserved, and caused the company organized at Olympia to disband, and turn in the property in their possession to the adjutant general.
At a subsequent session of the legislature, a similar effort was made by the adjutant general; and, through the efforts of its friends, a bill passed the house, but was reconsidered before being submitted to the council, and was defeated. Meantime, in February, 1886, the Chinese riots broke out at Seattle, whereupon, com
panies B and D did heroic service in maintaining order, and preserving the peace, lives and property of the citizens until relieved by the regulars under orders from the president of the United States.
From the organization of deputy sheriffs, on that occasion, sprang the present company E, of the first regiment, Captain George Kinnear commanding, followed subsequently by Captain E. M. Carr, now assistant adjutant general, which company had as its members many of the oldest residents of the city of Seattle and solid men of the community.
These companies were followed by the organization of company A, second regiment, at Walla Walla, captain, Paul D'Heirry; company B, at Goldendale, captain, E. W. Pike; company C, at Centerville, captain, J. R. Eshenberg; company D, at Waitsburg, captain, Henry D. Shuham; company E, Walla Walla, captain, Joseph D. Conry; company F, at Dayton, captain, J. T. Burns; company G, at Spokane, captain, G. W. Greene.
Companies A and E, at Walla Walla, were subsequently disbanded, and replaced by the organization of a new company A, at Ellensburgh, Captain J. E. Frost commanding, and a company E, at North Yakima, Captain J. C. MacCrimmon commanding; which companies, with company H, at Pomeroy, were organized and inus. tered in October, 1891, and were followed subsequently by the organization and muster of company K, at Tekoa, Captain E. H. Fox commanding, and company I, at Clyde, Captain W. B. Buffum commanding
The first regimental organization was completed by the muster of company F, at Whatcom, captain, J. J. Weisenberger; company G, at Port Blakeley, captain, J. W. Phillips; subsequently mustered out, and a new company G organized and mustered at Tacoma, with Fred. A. Gaus (now major) captain. Company H, at Vancouver, captain, T. E. Glover; company I, at Port Townsend, captain, George H. Jones; company K, at Aberdeen, captain, A. E. Morton; company A, at Olympia, captain, C. S. Reinhart, formerly captain of company B, second infantry, at Goldendale.
Companies B, C, D and E, were first formed in battalion organization March 9, 1886, with Captain George D. Hill, U. S. A. (retired), afterwards elected brigadier general, as lieutenant colonel commanding; and, thereafter, upon the muster of a sufficient number of companies for a regimental organization, Captain J. C. Haines, commanding D company, was elected colonel; S. W. Scott, lieutenant colonel, and Charles Evans, major, with rank from April 28, 1887.
On March 26, 1887, the second regimental organization was completed by the election of Captain C. M. Anderson, assistant adjutant general, as colonel, Captain E. W. Pike as lieutenant colonel, Captain J. T. Burns as major; with rank from that date.
On the first day of May, 1888, the first troop of the present cavalry battalion, designated troop A, was organized, with Charles B. Johnston, now major, commanding the battalion as captain, B. B. Glasscock as first lieutenant, and T. F. Smith as second lieutenant, with beadquarters at Sprague, Lincoln county; and was followed on June 27, 1890, by the organization and muster of the second company of cavalry; designated as troop B, with James M. Ashton as captain, James H. Barry as first lieutenant, and James M. Dougan, second lieutenant, with headquarters at Tacoma. On the 28th day of the same month a battalion organization was effected, with the election of Charles B. Johnston as major commanding
The duty devolving upon the adjutant general's department in effecting the organization of the national guard, as it at present exists, was laborious and often trying; and the services gratuitously rendered from 1883 to March 27, 1890, at which time the legislature, by enactment, placed the salary of the adjutant general at $1,500 per year.
The service rendered by the first regiment during the great fires in Seattle and Vancouver, in June, 1891, in suppressing the lawless element, protecting the property of the citizens from incendiaryism and preventing the spread of the fiery elements, and of company G of the second regiment, at Spokane Falls, during the terrible holocaust at that place, at once established in the minds of the people the wisdom of the legislature in making provision for the substantial organization and support of the national guard.
During this period the guard was not without its casualties. Some of the brightest and most efficient members at various times paid the great debt of nature and answered the roll call of the "great commander."
Col. G. Morris Haller, assistant adjutant general, and Lieutenant Colonel T. T. Minor, M.D., brigade surgeon, were drowned between Utsalady and La Conner while crossing the Sound in canoes.