The 111th Engineer Brigade is an engineer brigade of the United States Army. It is a subordinate unit of the West Virginia Army National Guard with units located throughout West Virginia. The 115 Engineer Company is located within the geographical area of Clarksburg, WV.
The West Virginia National Guard traces its heritage to the
1735 militia company established in Berkeley County by Morgan Morgan.
Originally formed for protection against Indian raids, militia units were
quickly mobilized when necessary in war time. Militia units provided frontier
service in the French and Indian War and during Dunmore’s War. Men from Western
Virginia fought on all fronts in the Revolutionary War. During the War of 1812,
Western Virginia militia units took part in the Northwest campaigns, and one
company of Cabell County troops fought alongside Andrew Jackson at the Battle
of New Orleans in 1815. Cabell, Berkeley, and Jefferson counties provided
infantry regiments for service in the Mexican War of 1846-1848.
During the Civil War, West Virginia provided some 40,000 men
for service in both Northern and Southern forces. Many enlisted in the
regiments of bordering states, especially Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and
Virginia. These troops primarily saw service on West Virginia soil or in the Valley
of Virginia. Federal and Confederate units from West Virginia were present at
both the first land battle of the war at Philippi and at the Confederate
surrender at Appomattox.
In 1889, the West
Virginia legislature renamed the militia the West Virginia National Guard and
provided state support. The First Infantry Regiment was organized in northern
West Virginia and the Second Infantry Regiment in southern West Virginia. In
1898, the two regiments were merged into one for service in the
Spanish-American War. The First West Virginia Volunteer Infantry was stationed
in Georgia. Later, another regiment was formed, the Second West Virginia
Volunteer Infantry, which served in Pennsylvania during the war.
The militia or National Guard was activated for service in
areas of labor unrest in 1877, 1880, 1894, 1902, and 1912. Though there were
hundreds of strikes during this period, most were controlled by local police
authorities. When this failed, troops were called to duty. The most prolonged
service took place in 1902 when a national coal strike brought miners out in
the New River Gorge, and in 1912–13 when miners struck for union recognition on
Paint and Cabin creeks in Kanawha County. Martial law was declared for the
strike zone in 1912, and miners and mine guards were sentenced to prison for
various violations. ‘‘Mother’’ Jones was among those brought before the
In 1916, the West Virginia National Guard was activated in
response to President Woodrow Wilson’s call for troops to pursue Pancho Villa
on the Mexican border. Again, the regiments were merged and the Second West
Virginia Volunteer Infantry was sent to the border. After several months, the
unit returned home, only to be federalized within weeks for service in World
War I. The Second Regiment and a newly recruited First Regiment were absorbed
into the 38th Infantry Division. The Second Regiment was reorganized and re designated
as the 150th Infantry while the First Regiment was broken up into support
units. The 150th Infantry landed in Europe at the end of the war and saw no
action in that conflict.
Following World War I, the 150th and 201st Infantry
Regiments were organized in southern and northern West Virginia, respectively.
These units were federalized in January 1941 as President Franklin D. Roosevelt
prepared the nation for war. The 150th spent World War II defending the Panama
Canal while the 201st provided the first line of defense for the Aleutian
Islands. The National Guard was dramatically changed after World War II.
Artillery units, transportation, and engineering units were added to the 150th
Infantry Regiment. Probably the biggest change, however, was the addition of a
combat fighter squadron, bringing an important aviation component to the Guard.
Since World War II, the Army and Air National Guard has
served in several capacities, lending aid to West Virginians during natural
disasters caused by periodic flooding and to victims of the coal refuse dam
break on Buffalo Creek in 1972. As part of its military mission, elements of
the West Virginia Army and Air National Guard were activated for duty during
the Korean War, the war in Vietnam, the Gulf War of 1991, the Iraq War, in
support of the peacekeeping mission to Bosnia in 1997–98, and more recent
conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The
West Virginia National Guard was mobilized more frequently after the attack on
the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, than at any other time in its