There go those
Nebraskans, and all hell couldn't stop them.
-An American general observing the First Nebraska Volunteer Regiment
(Nebraska National Guard) in the Philippines, 1899.
Citizen-Soldiers in Nebraska
The American Revolution could not have
been won without colonial militiamen.
The U.S. Constitution established the militia as a primary component
of national defense, considered preferable to a large standing
army. The Militia Act of 1792 provided for the enrollment of
all men between the ages of 18 and 45. State and territorial
governors were responsible for the appointment of officers and
The Nebraska National Guard became the
active component of the state militia in 1881, when the legislature established a military code
for Nebraska. The federal Dick Act of 1903 laid the foundation
for the National Guard's dual state/federal role, which sets
it apart from other military reserve forces.
Although the governor urged the formation
of militia companies for home defense as early as 1854, this
1856 act of the territorial legislature marked the official organization of the Nebraska
militia. The companies were to provide their own arms and equipment.
Many companies were little more than social organizations, which
gathered for pomp and ceremony on national holidays.
State Historical Society Manuscript Collection (345/N27l, v.1-3)
Private James Hutton
of the First Nebraska Volunteer Infantry, 1861. Volunteer soldiers, many from pre-war militia
units, formed the bulk of both the Union and Confederate armies
during the Civil War. Nebraska Territory furnished more than
three thousand volunteers for the Union Army.
State Historical Society Photograph Collection, RG2057-40
Henson Wiseman carried this musket while serving with the Second Nebraska Volunteer
Cavalry in 1863. The regiment was
organized to protect the Nebraska settlements, but the federal
government sent most of the Second Nebraska to fight Indians
in Dakota Territory.
State Historical Society Museum Collection (2449-1)
Henson Wiseman, Saint James, Nebraska
"Sioux Indian War" medals were issued to Nebraska National Guardsmen deployed to northwestern Nebraska in the wake
of the December 29, 1890, Wounded Knee Massacre. The soldiers
did no fighting and soon returned home.
State Historical Society Museum Collections (4755-1)
Fred C. Cave, Oxford, Kansas
The First Nebraska Volunteer Infantry on
line in the Philippines, March 31, 1899. The Nebraska National Guard furnished three regiments
for federal service after the U.S. declared war on Spain in 1898.
Only one saw fighting and not against Spanish troops.
The First Nebraska Volunteer Infantry suffered
significant casualties when Filipino nationalists resisted American
occupation of their country following Spain's defeat. The 1898-1899
conflict was the first overseas deployment for the Nebraska National
State Historical Society Photograph Collection, S735[7136-142]
Medal awarded to Captain P. J. Cosgrave of Lincoln for service
with the First Nebraska Volunteer Infantry in the Philippines.
State Historical Society Museum Collection (9210-430)
Pearl Joan Cosgrave, Lincoln, Nebraska
National Guardsmen were sent to Omaha after a tornado devastated
the city on Easter Sunday, March
23, 1913. An estimated 170 persons were killed and property damage
exceeded $10 million. This view of some of the soldiers appeared
Story of the Omaha Tornado Disaster.
Nebraska State Historical Society Library Collection (Pam978.238/B17p)
Medal issued to Nebraska National Guardsmen sent to the Mexican border in June 1916 after Pancho Villa raided Columbus, New Mexico.
While U.S. troops pursued Villa into Mexico, the Nebraska soldiers
remained at Camp Llano Grande, Texas, for more than six months.
State Historical Society Museum Collection (10284-5)
Mae Louise Hamilton, Omaha, Nebraska
Company L, Sixth Nebraska Infantry, Nebraska National Guard,
while training at Camp Cody near Deming, New Mexico, in October
1917. More than five thousand Nebraska National Guardsmen were
called into federal service after the U.S. entered World War
I in 1917, but they did not go overseas as a unit. (10
Mb PDF of photograph)
State Historical Society Photograph Collection, N277.4-147 and
Nebraska State Historical Society Museum Collection
Nebraska guardsman Roy Frank Watson of Douglas, Nebraska,
wore this helmet while serving in France and Germany from October
1918 through July 1919.
State Historical Society Museum Collection (11881-1)
Joan M. Uribe, Lincoln, Nebraska
Colonel (later General) Butler B. Miltonberger's
personal copy of the history of the 134th Infantry Regiment (Nebraska National Guard) during World War II,
which includes a map
of the regiment's trek across Europe (PDF). Miltonberger,
from North Platte, was the regiment's commander.
"All Hell Can't Stop Us," the
regiment's motto, came from a statement by an American general
observing the First Nebraska Volunteer Regiment in the Philippines
in 1899: "There go those Nebraskans, and all hell couldn't
State Historical Society Library Collection
(L. to R.) Supreme
Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower, 35th Division
commander General Paul Baade, Colonel Butler B. Miltonberger,
and General George S. Patton inspected the 134th Infantry Regiment
in England before the regiment entered combat in France in July
State Historical Society Photograph Collection, RG3558 (M662-144)
the 134th Infantry Regiment liberated Nancy, France, in September
1944, city officials presented
Colonel Miltonberger with a scroll expressing their gratitude.
State Historical Society Photograph Collection, RG3558 (M662-496)
Nebraska National Guard transport en route to drop hay to
stranded cattle during the Blizzard
of 1949. The Nebraska National Guard has been deployed numerous
times for state emergencies, including blizzards, floods, forest
fires, and tornadoes.
State Historical Society Photograph Collection, RG3139-109
The Nebraska Air National Guard was authorized
in 1946. This
patch represents the Air Guard's most recent mission,
aerial refueling with KC135 tanker aircraft.
State Historical Society Museum Collection (11364-6)
Larry Sommer, Lincoln, Nebraska
Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990-91, following
Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, was the first overseas deployment
for the Nebraska National Guard since World War II. Twenty-five
Nebraskans serving in the 1267th Medical Company were the last
to return home, arriving in Lincoln on May 17, 1991.
Green, Green Grass of Home." (Lincoln Journal Star, May