Kentish Guards

Rhode Island Historic Militia
Chartered October 29th, 1774

Post Civil War

Veterans returning home after the war formed the backbone of the Kentish Guards and resumed the role of state militia (National Guard of the day duties). In 1868 the Kentish Guards, along with the GAR, began the annual Memorial Day observance in East Greenwich, then called Decoration Day when flowers were laid on the graves of Civil War dead.

Spanish-American War
The Guards were last on alert during the Spanish-American War when the Spanish Navy menaced the east coast of the United States. At the turn of the twentieth century, they declined the offer to join the National Guard system then being formed. The Kentish Guards chose to continue under their old charter under which they elect their own officers and have control of their own affairs. 

This photo, taken circa 1868 in front of the Armory in East Greenwich RI, is a nice example
of the Kentish Guards in the immediate post Civil War era

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