History of Delta Company 3rd Battalion 153rd Infantry Regiment Through World War II
The militia is an intricate part of military history in the United States. The origin of American militia can be traced back to Medieval England. The English believed that every free, able-bodied male had the obligation to furnish his own weapons and turn out under local leaders to defend the realm. By the late 1500šs when Englishmen were beginning to plant colonies in the New World, the militia had been separated into two categories. Most individuals would serve only in a crisis. However a select element were grouped into "trained bands" and voluntarily held periodic musters for training. This became the forerunner for the state militia. (1)
As the first colonist arrived in the new world, it was soon evident that some sort of organized militia was necessary. Indian fighting remained a central theme in U.S. military history for the next two and one-half centuries, and continued as the nation expanded west.
With the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 the United States doubled in size acquiring the land that is now Arkansas. By an Act of Congress of 2 March 1819, it was provided that a large portion of the Missouri Territory would be sliced off and henceforth known as the Arkansas Territory. James Miller, a distinguished officer in the War of 1812, assumed the duties of Governor. One of the Governoršs first acts was to appoint William O. Allen brigadier general and to issue an order for the immediate organization of the territorial militia. The Territorial Legislature made complete provision for a militia system in the Territory of Arkansas, due the ever-present menace of hostile Indian tribes.
The Treaty of 8 July 1817, which granted to the Cherokee Indians a large tract of land between the Arkansas and White rivers, was the cause of many troubles between the Indian tribes. The Osage resented the presence of the Cherokee in what had formerly been their tribal hunting grounds, and Anglo settlers living near the Indian boundary lines were in constant danger of becoming involved in an Indian war. The Arkansas Gazette of 30 December 1820, said:
"The long expected war between the Osage and Cherokee nation of Indians has at length broke out. Report says that the former are the aggressors." (2)
In 1821 a war broke out which lasted over a year and kept the Anglo settlers in constant fear for their lives and property. Militia troops were finally brought on the scene to stop the war.