The history of the 113th Infantry, consisting of New Jersey National Guard troops from Essex, Hudson, Bergen & Passaic Counties, is the history of the infantry militia of Northern NJ from the earliest colonial period l664. Prior to the Revolution, one of the heroic soldiers and commanding figures in New Jersey was COL Peter Schuyler of Belleville-Newark who organized, outfitted and marched New Jersey Troops to Canada in 1746-1748 during "King George's War" and in 1756-1763 during "7 Years War".
The 2d Battalion 113th Infantry, 42d Infantry Division (Heavy), is Newark's own National Guard Unit. Charged with serving both the State and Federal Governments', it has a long history of serving in peace and war. The 2d Battalion traces its lineage to the American Revolution when, in October 1775, the First (Eastern) Battalion, New Jersey Militia, was formed in Newark; this unit participated in many Revolutionary War campaigns, and earned itself the motto ?Fidelis et Fortis' - Faithful and Brave?. On January 10, 1776 the name 'Jersey Blues' was derived from CPT Littel's Company which was formed in Newark.
Newark is also the birth place of the Essex Troop. The State legislature, on August 10, 1776 passed an act that provided for four troops of Calvary in Essex County known as the Essex Squadron. The first one formed was known then as the Newark Troop. On May 30, 1890 a call was made to the Essex Club in Newark for volunteers to escort at the unveiling of the Seth Boyden statue in Washington Park. This formed the Essex Troop - Roseville Armory. It escorted President Woodrow Wilson when inaugurated as President on March 4, 1913 and was the Honor Guard at the Inaugural Ball. In 1861, the drums of war summoned the first, second and third Regiments, of the Division to arms, this time at Bull Run and at other battles of the tragic war between the states, the Civil War. The largest portion of the men were from the City Battalion of Newark. In 1899, the Battalion was called to federal service for the Spanish-American war-; 1st Reg - Newark, 2nd Reg - Paterson, 3rd Reg- Elizabeth. Later, in 1916, it was activated for the Mexican Engagements, and served on the Mexican Border as part of the 1st Jersey Brigade.
In 1917 the 1st Infantry Regiment, as it was then called, was mobilized for service in World War I. During the Regiment's service it fought in the Alsace and Lorraine Campaigns, and in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. The 1st & 4th Regiments with the 2d NJ Infantry, formed the nucleus of the 113th Infantry. The 373rd Infantry Battalion Colored) was formed by the conversion of the 1st Battalion, New Jersey National Guard. The first unit of five, was Company A of Newark, which was mustered into service on September 9, 1940.
During World War II the 1l3th Infantry, then part of the 44th Infantry Division, participated in most major European campaigns. Units of the 2nd Battalion, 113th Infantry (predecessors of companies now stationed at the Newark Armory) landed at Normandy on D-Day, and earned citations for service in Northern France, the Rhineland, the Ardennes-Alsace, and central Europe. Although not activated for service in Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama and the Pusian Gulf, many of our soldiers proudly wear the combat badge from these conflicts.
Service to State and Country; that is the job of the soldiers who serve with the Second Battalion. But the Battalion is not some faceless military organization, we're your neighbors. The Battalion is made up of people who live and work in our own neighborhood and who also serve the State and Country by proudly wearing the uniform of the United States Army. Today, as in those colonial days of over 200 years ago, members of the Second Battalion continue in the tradition of our motto: "Faithful and Brave"
The Second Battalion has an equally distinguished record of domestic service; it was called out to quell labor disturbances in 1871, Railroad Riots of 1877 and Labor Riots of 1908 in Perth Amboy: it served the State during the Civil Disorder of 1967, the blizzards of 1977-1978, the Passaic River floods of April 1984 and Tropical Storm Floyd of 1998. Since then till now it has served in assisting the citizens of the State of New Jersey with everything from water purification to bridging placed over highways.
On September 11, 2001 terrorists flew jetliners into the World Trade Center towers in New York City and into the Pentagon. These events changed the course of history once again. In response to the growing threat of domestic terror, President George W. Bush created the Office of Homeland Security. In conjunction with the Federal mission of homeland security and the State of New Jersey's mission to protect the highways into New York City, soldiers from the 2d Battalion (M) 113th Infantry were called on to serve. Soldiers from Riverdale, Newark, Jersey City and Woodbridge volunteered to protect Newark International Airport. In addition, the battalion was called to State Active Duty to provide support to the New Jersey State Police in safeguarding the bridges and tunnels into New York City. Not since World War II had this battalion been activated in strength for a mission of such importance.
Posted by Kevin Reiter
Oct 16 2003 05:48:41:000AM