New exhibits at New York State Military Museum focus on World War I posters, New York National Guard horsemen
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (07/01/2017) (readMedia)-- The story of the New York National Guard's horse cavalry and World War I poster art are the subject of two new temporary exhibits at the New York State Military Museum that open on July 5.
"New York's Horse Soldiers, 1840-1940" uses photographs and artifacts to tell the story of New York National Guard mounted units.
At the beginning of the Civil War, the New York State Militia included nearly 1600 cavalrymen organized in companies attached to infantry units and in two New York City cavalry regiments.
Following the Civil War horse mounted Soldiers vanished from the New York National Guard until a group of wealthy New York City residents organized Troop A in 1885 which was accepted into the New York National Guard in 1889.
New York cavalrymen fought in the Spanish-American War, went to the Mexican Border to guard against attacks from Poncho Villa, and fought in World War I as machine gun and mortar units. They were also employed to control riots and prevent civil unrest during industrial strikes.
By the 1930s New York had two cavalry regiments and a cavalry brigade headquarters.
But when the New York National Guard mobilized in 1940 as World War II broke out it was clear that the days of Soldiers on horses were over and the cavalry units went to war in tanks and armored cars.
Today the 2nd Squadron 101st Cavalry, headquartered in Niagara Falls carries the lineage and history of New York's cavalry Soldiers.
Artifacts on display include an elaborate Hussar's uniform worn by members of Squadron A, the New York City cavalry unit, and a McClellan saddle used by a New York trooper.
The second exhibit opening for the summer focuses on World War I posters from the museum's collection.
In the days before radio and television advertising, colorful posters were the way the advertising messages of all kinds, including government information, reached the public.
"Do Your Part! – World War I Poster Art," showcases the variety of patriotic and motivational posters created 100 years ago. The federal government created dozens of motivational posters urging its citizens to support the war effort.
Dramatic posters urged citizens to buy war bonds, join the military, save starving European refugees and donate money to charitable groups including the Red Cross, Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) and Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA).
The exhibition also features a variety of personal items worn and used by US Army servicemen such as a Campaign hat, Overseas cap and ID disks. Also showcased in the exhibition are items sent to Soldiers, including a Red Cross supplied razor and small shaving mirror.