National Guard Adjutant General's records
Dates: i 1895-1965.
These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.
An agency history is available.
Scope and Content
This series provides a comprehensive account of the duties and activities of the office of the Adjutant General, the chief administrative officer of the National Guard (see the research note for a list of each person creating this series and his term). The series contains administrative papers, personnel data, fiscal papers, and historical information on the guard, its units, and its involvement in both state and federal actions. Correspondence with the federal War Department (later known as the Department of Defense) shows the evolution of the Guard from state to federal control, with the Guard required to meet federal rather than state standards in terms of organizational structure, equipment, and training. During the early years, the state adjutant general was actively involved, or at least regularly informed, as to the actions of various units even when in federal service. Later, the orders under which he operated even in peace time were initiated in the Defense Department, and he received little contemporary information on activated troops.
Routine administrative functions are thoroughly represented in the series. Administrative papers include orders from headquarters, the federal government, and copies of those issued by individual units; fiscal reports; bids, supply requisitions, bills, and service contracts; and annual or biennial reports to the governor. Programs for encampments and various drills are consistently included from the beginning. The annual summer field training camp, and related administrative and personnel issues, generates much of the regular correspondence, reports, orders, and memoranda. Replies to a memorandum are normally done on the same sheet or attached sheets and are referred to as indorsements (abbreviated "ind."). By the time of the World Wars, there are regular certificates of federal recognition issued to the various units, as well as increasing numbers of memoranda and orders from the War Department. Federal reorganization of local units also generates numerous orders, rosters, and memoranda during the 1950s and 1960s.
Personnel papers are also present throughout. These include some enlistment, muster, and pay rolls; morning reports (drill attendance); firearms qualifications; accident, illness, injury, and death reports and investigations; promotions, demotions, and reassignments; and for the first few years, oaths.
Land acquisition, construction, and maintenance at Guard facilities are frequent and voluminous topics of correspondence. Correspondence includes use of federal facilities at Fort Douglas, the construction of Camp Williams at the Jordan Narrows, and the construction of armories around the state. The correspondence relates to work done by the Guard, by private landowners or contractors, and by the Works Progress Administration. In addition to correspondence, blueprints, copies of land titles, and receipts and bills are all present.
The adjutant general's office was also involved in the documentation of the history of Utah Guard units and veterans of federal service from Utah. Correspondence and pictures related to designing regimental insignia are frequent. To obtain federal approval on designs chosen, the compilation of unit histories was required; thus, drafts of many of those are included as well. These include discussion of territorial militia history and unit histories in various actions, such as the Spanish American War, Mexican border campaign, the World Wars, and the Korean conflict. Histories were updated periodically, particularly following participation in a new war. Rarely, histories will include photographs or maps.
The adjutant general also maintained World War I card files on veterans from Utah created by the federal War Department. While the cards are not part of this series, there is frequent correspondence from the War Department in the 1920s and 1930s instructing the adjutant general to correct specific entries on individual cards. There are also letters from individuals and citizens requesting lists of veterans compiled from those cards.
Besides historical information, correspondence and related papers were created at the time of the various actions. Documented are numerous occasions when the guard was called into federal service. There is some correspondence from the Spanish American War. There are scrapbook pages from 1912 with clippings on the Mexican Revolution when U.S. intervention was expected, and correspondence, telegrams, and copies of orders issued during the Mexican border campaign, 1916-1917, when Utah National Guard troops were actually activated. During World War I there are numerous muster rolls, letters and oaths pertaining to enlistment in the Home Defense Organization and federal recognition of Guard units. There is also correspondence after the war pertaining to federal distribution of war trophies to the states. At the beginning of World War II, memoranda from the War Department proliferate, particularly regarding activation of the guard or induction of individual members. Periodically there are memoranda of commendation.
The series also documents instances when the guard was called into state service. The Governor called out the Guard during several labor strikes at mines around the state during the first half of the twentieth century, and there is correspondence pertaining to those actions. During the 1930s, regular memoranda from the Salt Lake Police Department pertain to surveillance reports on strikers and communists or other "subversives." In addition to military functions, the adjutant general arranged gubernatorial inaugurations and receptions, so letters of invitation, copies of programs, etc. are included regularly.
Over the years, various elements of the series were separated out, so by the mid-1960s there are separate series for correspondence, morning reports, orders, etc.
Cannon, John Q. Apr. 30, 1895-Mar. 9, 1899
Burton, Charles S. Mar. 9, 1899-Jan. 2, 1905
Bowman, John M. Jan. 3, 1905-June 21, 1905
Geoghegan, Joseph (acting) June 22, 1905-Mar. 1, 1906
Naylor, Raymond C. Mar. 17, 1906-Jan. 25, 1907
Wedgwood, Edgar A. (acting) Jan. 28, 1907-Mar. 25, 1907
Wedgwood, Edgar A. Mar. 25, 1907-Jan. 1, 1917
Williams, William G. Jan. 2, 1917-Sept. 24, 1917
Lund, W.M.H. (acting) Oct. 9, 1917-Sept. 24, 1918
Jorgensen, Fred Sept. 25, 1918-Nov. 1, 1920
Williams, William G. Nov. 1, 1920-May 31, 1946
West, J. Wallace June 1, 1946-July 31, 1953
Rich, Maxwell E. Aug. 1, 1953-Sept. 15, 1964
Watts, Maurice L. Sept. 16, 1964-
Chronological. Enclosures and endorsements may be kept together under one date.
World War I service records from the Department of Administrative Services. Division Archives and Records Service, Series 2793, contain a copy of the World War I cards discussed here.
Correspondence from the National Guard, Series 6065, contains additional correspondence detailing similar administrative, personnel, and service issues, 1898-1916.
Mexican border campaign service cards from the Department of Administrative Services. Division Archives and Records Service, Series 6131, contains service data on some of these same soldiers whose personnel actions are also documented in this series.
Mexican border campaign records from the National Guard, Series 6305, contains corresponding information on the role of the Guard in the Mexican border campaign from the perspective of the individual activated units.
Carbon County coal strike records from the National Guard, Series 6306, contains replies to letters included here and further discussion of the same labor issues.
Duty performed reports from the National Guard, Series 6347, documents participation in training schools and drills, the organization of which is an important subject of this series.
Carbon County firearms confiscation correspondence from the National Guard, Series 10113, contains replies to letters and further discussion of labor strike issues included here.
Annual reports from the National Guard, Series 10347, contains published versions of these reports to the governor.
Military service cards from the Department of Administrative Services. Division Archives and Records Service, Series 85268, contain the World War I cards discussed here.
Parts of this series, which contain data on individuals, are private or controlled. These papers include some, but not all, of the orders, correspondence, accident and injury reports, etc. These access restrictions apply for 100 years on individuals in the records who, at the time of the creation of the record, were 21 years of age or younger; for those over the age of 21, restrictions apply for 75 years. Access to restricted records may be permitted under certain circumstances. Contact the Reference Archivists for more information.
Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.
Arranged by J. Brent Brinkerhoff in 1991. Processing completed by A. C. Cone in 1992.
- Utah National Guard—Drill and tactics.
- Utah National Guard—Recruiting, enlistment, etc.
- Utah National Guard—Personnel management.
- Military training camps—Utah.
- Korean War, 1950-1953—Utah.
- World War, 1914-1918—Utah.
- World War, 1939-1945—Utah.
- Utah—History, Military.
- Camp Williams (Utah).
- Fort Douglas (Utah)—Facilities.
|1||15||Jan.-Feb. 1912, Mexican Maneuvers scrapbook|
|1||16||Mar. 1912, Mexican Maneuvers, cont.|
|1||17||Apr. 1912, Mexican Maneuvers, cont.|
|1||18||May 1912, Mexican Maneuvers, cont.|
|1||34||1916, Orders volume|
|1||40||Aug. 1-30, 1917|
|1||41||Aug. 31, 1917|
|2||17||June 1-15, 1929|
|2||18||June 16-30, 1929|
|2||19||July 1-17, 1929|
|2||20||July 18-31, 1929|
|2||21||Aug. 2-16, 1929|
|2||22||Aug. 19-28, 1929|
|3||2||June 5, 1939|
|3||3||June 15-Aug. 1939|
|3||13||Sept. 1-15, 1940|
|3||14||Sept. 17-30, 1940|
|3||15||Oct. 1-15, 1940|
|3||16||Oct. 16-31, 1940|
|3||17||Nov. 1-15, 1940|
|3||18||Nov. 16-30, 1940|
|3||19||Dec. 1-15, 1940|
|3||20||Dec. 16-31, 1940|
|3||47||Oct. 2, 1946|
|3||48||Oct. 4, 1946|
|3||49||Oct. 11-31, 1946|
|3||55||1950-1947, Order index volume|
|4||11||Jan. 1957, Regulations to date, vol. 1|
|4||12||Jan. 1957, Regulations to date, vol. 2|
Page Last Updated October 18, 2012.