A Brief History of the 1st Montana Volunteer Infantry, Co. E

Contributed by John Barrows

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This account was written by John Barrows in 1999 and concerns the First Montana Volunteer Infantry Company E of Dillon, Montana.

Company E, 1st Montana Volunteer Infantry:

Originally it was Company E of the Montana Militia...organized nearly 10 years before the Spanish American War and the call up of volunteers. The Company was reorganized as Company E of the First Montana Infantry Volunteers, and was comprised of soldiers from both Dillon and Butte. Just east, in Virginia City, Company D was formed and included many men from Sheridan and Twin Bridges. Company E left in May 1998, for training in California, and eventually, service in the Philippines, and returned in October, a year later. During its time in the Philippines, from February 4, 1899 through August 13, 1899, it was on the firing line and not relieved. The entire strength of the company was engaged in combat duty, that included several weeks in trench work; patrol duty on Manila Bay and defending an isolated outpost from insurgent attacks. During the time the company was in the Philippines, it took part in a number of engagements, including a regimental advance on Malolos, where the soldiers took heavy casualties. Among the injuries during the advance suffered by soldiers of Company E, Private Cavanaugh, who was hit, and then Captain Jensen, who stopped a spent ball with his leg.

Private Enright got a spent bullet right over the heart, and it dropped into his pocket., Musician McQuarry was wounded in the pit of the stomach and Private George Banks was wounded through the right arm. Three days later the company took additional injuries, Privates Lenox and Peterson, and Captain Jensen was wounded a second time. When Company E returned to Dillon it was mustered out as part of the National Gaurd and reformed. There would not be another National Guard unit in Dillon until 1950, when it was formed on the campus of Western Montana College, in the old gymnasium building, until the new armory was built in 1959.


Barrows, John  The Dillon Tribune, October 27, 1999 (used by pernmission)

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