1st Battalion, 141st Field Artillery
The mission of the 1st Battalion, 141st Field Artillery, is to destroy, neutralize, or suppress the enemy by cannon, rocket, and missile fire and to help integrate all fire support assets into combined arms operations.
The Washington Artillery had its beginning in New Orleans on September 7, 1838, when it was originally organized. It is the oldest militia unit in the State of Louisiana and the oldest Field Artillery Battalion outside the original thirteen colonies.
Shortly after its organization the unit volunteered for duty in the Mexican War, serving under Zachary Taylor, both as artillery and infantry. The unit expanded to a battalion in 1861 and served in both the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of Tennessee, the only unit in the Confederacy to do so. During four years of campaigning, it participated in over sixty major engagements and gained lasting renown in such famous battles as First Manassas, Fredericksburg, Shiloh, and Gettysburg, to name a few. The battalion concluded its Civil War service in April 1865.
In 1866 the Washington Artillery reorganized as a Benevolent Association, which still exist today as the Washington Artillery Association, and cared for its veteran soldiers, and their widows and orphans. Between 1866 and 1880 the Washington Artillery Benevolent Association raised funds to erect a monument in Metairie Cemetery in honor of its members who gave the supreme sacrifice during the Civil War.
In 1875 the battalion was allowed to reorganize as an independent military unit, it again purchased its own Artillery pieces and uniforms from membership dues. In 1898 the battalion furnished volunteers to form "Bravo" Battery of the Louisiana Volunteer Field Artillery, serving for a short time as part of the American occupation forces in Cuba. In 1916 the battalion was mobilized to serve on the Mexican border. In 1917 the battalion was expanded to a regiment and redesignated 141st Artillery. In 1920 the regiment was reorganized with "Alpha" Battery the first to receive federal recognition.
In 1939 the battalion was again expanded to a regiment, consisting of first and second battalions of the 141st Field Artillery. On January 13, 1941, the regiment was mobilized for World War II. The regiment was again organized to form two separate battalions, the 934th and 935th FA. Through the efforts of Major General Raymond H. Fleming, the Adjutant General, a former commander of the unit, the army agreed to redesignate the 934th FA as the 141st FA, thus preserving the unit's lineage.
While serving in the European - African - Middle Eastern Theater of Operations, both battalions quickly reestablished the reputation of skill and daring the Washington Artillery created during the Mexican War and Civil War. Places such as Sicily, Anzio, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, Southern France and the "Colmar Pocket" to name just a few, shuddered under her cannons. It was in the "Colmar Pocket" that the 141st earned the Presidential Unit Citation.
Reactivated in 1946, as National Guard units, the 141st and 935th were assigned to the 39th Infantry Division. Between 1959 and 1967 the battalions were reorganized several times, resulting in the formation of one battalion, the 141st FA. In 1971 the 141st FA was assigned to the 256th Infantry Brigade.
On November 30, 1990, the Washington Artillery entered federal service in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm. The unit was sent to Ft Hood to conduct training exercises in preparation for movement to the Persian Gulf. While at Ft Hood, the unit became the first National Guard unit to certify "combat ready". Due to the immediate success of U.S. operations in the Persian Gulf, the battalion was demobilized on April 20, 1991.
On August 17, 1991, the Washington Artillery was the first unit called into state service to provide security after the onslaught of Hurricane Andrew.
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