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Nevada National Guard, 1893-1913

In the latter 19th century the organized militias of several states began calling themselves "national guard".  The Adjutant General of Nevada was using the term by 1883, and in 1893 the legislature made it official.  The law specified that the state's National Guard was to adopt the United States Army's drill regulations and required the Governor to call out the guardsmen for annual encampments.

Organized labor opposed National Guard units because they had been called out against strikers in other states.  In Nevada several volunteer units ceased to exist, and by 1900 the National Guard in Nevada consisted of only two poorly equipped companies, both in Virginia City.  The organized militia was disbanded in Nevada in 1906.  For several years Nevada was the only state without an effective military force of any kind.  Duties that would have been those of a state National Guard, such as maintaining order during strikes, were given to the Nevada State Police, established in 1908.

When the United States entered World War I in 1917, there was no Nevada National Guard to be called into active duty.  Nevadans, however, were quick to volunteer for service, and many served in the war.

Photo Credit:
Nevada Historical Society