The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 257
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Texans in the Spanish-American War
was three regiments of infantry and one of cavalry-approximately four
thousand men. Volunteers would serve until the war was over or for a pe-
riod of two years, whichever was shorter.
It is ironic that national guard officers were so instrumental in getting
the service of guardsmen accepted, but that national guard units could
not enter federal service. The Constitution is very clear on the uses of
the militia. It may be used only "to execute the Laws of the Union, sup-
press insurrections and repel Invasions." Additionally, the Militia Act of
1792 was still in effect, and it stated that the militiamen could not serve
for more than three months at a time. So since foreign service was
therefore expressly forbidden, and since no one could accurately pre-
dict how long the war would last, the guardsmen would have to enlist as
individual volunteers, but with the provision that if enough men from
any existing unit offered themselves they would serve together as a unit
and would be able to elect their own company officers.'
The federal government shared with the states the fiscal responsibili-
ty for maintaining the militia. Congress annually allotted a maximum of
$400,000 worth of weapons, uniforms, and camp equipage to be dis-
tributed on the basis of population. Texas received $12,000 worth of
these government supplies, but it had allowed its militia to degenerate
through a lack of state appropriations for its upkeep. Only four states
provided less money for their militias in 1897 than the $5,000 the
Texas legislature authorized. When spread among the state's militia-
men, this amounted to only $1.70o per man, which ranked Texas as
among the most parsimonious states in the country. This is in marked
contrast with Connecticut, which spent over a quarter of a million dol-
lars on its citizen-soldiers, amounting to more than $124 per man. So
miserly was the state of Texas with its money, in fact, that it had spon-
sored only four summer training camps in the entire twenty-year period
preceding the war with Spain. The great majority of Texas militia units
were in no shape for active campaigning. They averaged only some fifty
men per company, when the prescribed minimum was eighty, so a con-
siderable recruiting effort was necessary to fill their depleted ranks with
fresh, inexperienced volunteers. Some companies had virtually no op-
erable weapons. The members of others regularly showed up for drill in
civilian clothing because there were not enough uniforms to go around.
Ibid., 152; Christian G. Nelson, "Texas Militla in the Spanish-American War," Texas Mzlitary
History, 2 (Aug , 1962), 194
" U S Constitution, art 1, sec 8 (quotation); John F Callan (ed.), "An Act effectually to pro-
vide for the national defence, by establishing an uniform militia throughout the United States,"
Approved May 8, 1792;John F. Callan The Military Laws of the United States, relating to the Army, Vol-
unteers, Mlitza, and to Bounty Lands and Pensions, from the foundation of the Government to the Year x 863
(Philadelphia George W. Chllds, 1863), 95-1oo; Trask, The War Wth Spazn, 151; Marvin A. Kreid-
bereg and Merton G. Henry, Hstory of the Mzlztary Mobzltzatson zn the United States Army, r775-1945
(1955; reprint, Westport, Conn.. Greenwood Press, 1975), 154-157.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/309/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.