The Johnstown Tribune

July 21, 1922

State Militia Entrains for Duty in Cambria and Adjoining Field; in Mounted and Motorized Units.

Troop of Cavalry Assigned Ebensburg. Report

Secrecy Desired

Harrisburg Says Camps will Be Established at Strategic Points in District

1,100 Men Under Arms

Col. Edward J. Stackpole, World War Veteran, in Command of Guards

Somerset Gets Troops

By United Press.

HARRISBURG, July 21 The location of National Guard troops in the coal regions will be left to the judgment of Col. Edward J. Stackpole, commanding officer in the field who is now in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Adjutant General Beary said today.

Troops may be moved from place to place to meet whatever emergencies arise, he indicated.

It was learned, however that headquarters will probably be set up at Washington and that troops will be stationed at Ebensburg, Cambria County, Cokeburg, Washington County, and Jennertown, Somerset County.

HARRISBURG, July 21 Forty two officer and 600 men of the 104th Cavalry left here today by train for the bituminous coal fields. The first train pulled out at 9:35 a.m.

These included troops from Harrisburg, Carlisle and Chambersburg.

The 53rd Machine Gun Squadron from Bellefonte was to be picked up at Lewistown according to plans being carried out by Col. E. J. Stackpole, in command of all State troops called.

At Tyrone the expedition was to be joined by cavalry troops from Tyrone, New Castle and Punxsutawney, it was said.

Under orders from Governor Sproul to maintain order during the resumption of mining operations, the 52nd Machine Gun Squadron and Motor Transport Company 110 of the Pennsylvania National Guard, in addition to the cavalry noted entrained for the bituminous fields in southwestern Pennsylvania.

These troops comprising 1,100 men, all in mounted or motorized units, proceeded, with exact destinations, secret, to take up strategic positions in the coal fields. They were not expected actually to patrol mines, but were to be held in readiness for concentration wherever danger threatened.

The 1,100 men will be posted at points in Cambria, Washington, Indiana, Somerset and Westmoreland counties, so that any spot in the whole bituminous region can be reached in 45 minutes by mounted troops.

Meanwhile the 103rd Cavalry, the 111th and 112th Infantry, a total strength of 4,000 men, proceeded today to the annual summer encampment at Mount Gretna. Governor Sproul stressed the fact that these troops, assembled and ready for duty, could be rushed to any part of the State if needed.

The troops called into active service in the coal region included cavalry troops from Harrisburg, Tyrone, Carlisle, New Castle, Chambersburg; machine gun troops from Bellefonte, Boalsburg and Lewistown and motor transport company from York.

Col. Edward J. Stackpole, D.S.C. veteran of the World War, commanded the forces ordered into active service, When the troops entrained not even the railroad men handling the trains knew their destination. The movement was carried on by verbal orders given from time to time. It was expected the troop trains would converge upon Pittsburg in the course of the day. Camp sites were kept secret to avoid disorder previous to arrival of the troops.

Governor Sproul reached the decision to call out troops after two days of anxious conferences with operators, county officials, and State Police and National Guard officers. He said finally that he felt it incumbent upon him to save life and property by preventing rioting rather than crushing it. "The time to stop disorder is before it starts." He said pointedly in his proclamation accompanying the military movement.

Sproul said he was determined that such mine operations as were reopened should be given ample protection by the State.

Governor Sproul left for Philadelphia late last night. Colonel Fred Taylor Pusey, of the 28th Division, who is a Deputy Attorney General, was detailed by the Governor as executive aide and to act for him in matters not requiring his personal attention.

The 11 troops of cavalry in the field are fully equipped with horse, trucks and machine guns and the most modern equipment of every character. The State Police will continue to operate as at present but there will be complete liaison between the local and State Police and the military, it was said.
 
 

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