138th Infantry Regiment
Standing ready to fill any possible need in the nation's defense program during the present crisis, the 138th Infantry Regiment, St Louis' Own," has been serving it city, state , and country since 1832, a magnificent record of service, unbroken except for short post-war lapses.
The unit was born in 1832 when it was organized as a volunteer militia company known as the St. Louis Grays under the command of Captain Alton R. Easton. Several years later, the Grays combined with other volunteer companies to form a regiment of the St. Louis Militia.
War Service came in the Mexican War in 1846 when the Grays and a number of other colorfully named units, including the Native American Rangers, Missouri Fusiliers, and Boon Guards were called into Federal Service. They fought in two battles before being mustered out in 1848.
In 1852, the St. Louis Grays, in company with the Black Plume Riflemen, Continental Rangers, Missouri Dragoons, St. Louis Lancers, and other units, became the 1st Missouri Regiment. A year later, the Grays had expanded enough to become the 1st Battalion of the regiment.
The 1st Regiment fought in the Confederate Army during the Civil War and saw action at the battles of Shiloh, Louisiana. Mississippi River, Vicksburg, Alabama, Atlanta, and Nashville.
At the end of the war, the units were re-formed into independent companies until 1877. in 1878, the St. Louis National Guard battalion was formed and entered state service. It later expanded to the 1st Infantry Regiment of the National Guard of Missouri.
The regiment was mustered into Federal Service for the Spanish-American War in 1898, but didn't leave the United States. In 1916, the unit served along the Mexican border, and in March 1917, was called into Federal Service for the first World War. On October 1, 1917, the unit was designated the 138th Infantry Regiment of the 35th Division.
The next two hectic years found the 138th in some of the heaviest fighting of the war-- the unit participated in the Alsace, Loraine, and Meuse-Argone campaigns. From 1921 to 1940, the 138th served as component unit of the 35th Division and the Missouri National Guard.
When war clouds gathered in 1940, the 138th was called to federal service in December for intensive training. In February 1942, the regiment was relieved from assignment to the 35th Division and saw duty in the Aleutian Islands. It became inactivated in July 1944 and was reformed in 1946 and again assigned to the 35th Infantry Division.
During its service in six different wars, the 138th Infantry Regiment has received thirteen battle streamers for action in areas ranging from France to Mexico. The 138th Infantry Regiment of 1953 is one of three regiments in the 35th Division, which was composed of National Guardsmen from Missouri and Kansas, Guardsmen devoted to state and country.