Military


198th Signal Battalion

In December 1775 Congress resolved that a "battalion" should be raised from the lower three counties of Pennsylvania. These three counties are what is now Delaware. Delaware was not yet a completely separate state and was still part of the colony of Pennsylvania. The "battalion" was also called a regiment. On 21 January 1776 the list of officers was completed. John Haslet was appointed Colonel. Haslet's regiment was judged among the very best combat units in Washington's command. Haslet's regiment, the only unit of Continental regulars recruited in Delaware, is perpetuated by today's 198th Signal Battalion, Delaware Army National Guard. The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 198th Coast Artillery on 13 Jun 1934. It was redesignated for the 736th Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion on 26 Jan 1951. On 6 Apr 1961, the insignia was redesignated for 198th Artillery. The distinctive unit insignia was redesignated for the 198th Signal Battalion on 19 Oct 1978.

In upland South Carolina, at a place where local farmers penned their cows, an American force of 300 Continentals and 700 militia from North and South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia, won a brilliant victory against the British at Cowpens. On January 16, Brigadier General Daniel Morgan, pursued by 1,100 British under Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton, carefully picked his ground for a defensive battle. That night, Morgan personally went among the Continentals and militiamen to explain his plan of battle. Morgan wanted two good volleys from the militia, who would then be free to ride away. The next day, the battle went very much as Morgan had planned. Georgia and North Carolina sharpshooters, in front of the main body of American militia, picked off British cavalrymen as they rode up the slight rise toward the Americans. Then the deadly fire of the main body of South and North Carolina militia forced Tarleton to commit his reserves. Seeing the militia withdrawing as planned, the 17th Light Dragoons pursued, but were driven off by Morgan's cavalry. Meanwhile, the British infantry, who assumed that the Americans were fleeing, were hit by the main body of Continentals, Virginia militiamen, and a company of Georgians. At the battle's end they were aided by militia troops, who, instead of riding away as planned, attacked the 71st Highlanders, who were attempting to fight their way out of the American trap. The British lost: 100 killed including 39 officers, 229 wounded, and 600 captured. As they fled the field, Tarleton and his dragoons were pursued by Colonel William Washington's cavalry, which included mounted Georgia and South Carolina militiamen.

The Continentals who fought at Cowpens are perpetuated today by the 175th Infantry, Maryland Army National Guard, and the 198th Signal Battalion, Delaware Army National Guard, and the Virginia militia by the 116th Infantry, Virginia Army National Guard.

The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 198th Coast Artillery on 13 Jun 1934. It was redesignated for the 736th Antiaircraft Artillery Gun Battalion on 26 Jan 1951. On 6 Apr 1961, the insignia was redesignated for 198th Artillery. The distinctive unit insignia was redesignated for the 198th Signal Battalion on 19 Oct 1978. The shield is white, the old color of Infantry. The eleven mullets represent the eleven battles and campaigns in which the organization served during the Civil War, and the red fleur-de-lis is for World War I service. The red is also the color of the Coast Artillery.



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list