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Kentucky National Guard Memorial

Honoring Their Sacrifice

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Sloan, Vance S. (P1, C2 L24)

Private Vance S. Sloan, 18, of Hopkinsville, Christian County died of Measles and Pneumonia at home just days after returning from serving with his unit on the Mexican boarder during the Punitive Expedition. Sloan may have still been on duty status when he died on 18 February 1917 just 4 days before his 19th birthday. Sloan was born near Franklin, Tennessee but moved with the family to Christian County near Hopkinsville when he was still young.

Sloan joined Company H of the 3rd Kentucky Infantry Regiment on 20 June 1916. He listed his civilian occupation as a farmer.

Newspaper accounts said he was taken ill with measles 6 days after returning from the border and was recovering from the measles very well when he contracted pneumonia. Sloan would have contracted the measles returning from the border. The newspaper said he was to be buried in the Wolf Cemetery near Hopkinsville in Christian County.

On 9 March 1916 Pancho Villa led a raid against Columbus, New Mexico, killing several Americans, both civilians and members of the 13th Cavalry who were on duty there. In retaliation, President Wilson ordered Brig. Gen. John J. “Black Jack” Pershing to lead an expedition into Mexico in pursuit of Villa.

The Kentucky Brigade trained at Fort Thomas until August and then moved to Fort Bliss, near El Paso, Texas. A camp for the Kentucky contingent was established about two miles from Fort Bliss and named Camp Owen Bierne. The name of the camp was fixed as a tribute to Sgt. Owen Bierne of the U.S. Army who had been killed by a Texas Ranger. The Kentucky Regiments were attached to the 10th U.S. Provisional Division under Brig. Gen. Charles G. Morton. Kentucky troops were used to patrol a sixty-mile stretch of the border along the Rio Grande to Fort Hancock. In February, 1917, the Kentucky Brigade was ordered back to Fort Thomas and was mustered out of the United States service and returned to home stations.

Many Kentucky guard units were kept on state duty guarding key infrastructure points across the state such as railroad tunnels before the entire Kentucky Guard was again called to federal active duty for World War I.

 

The Kentucky National Guard Memorial Fund, Inc., is a recognized 501(c)(3). EIN 26-3705273
 

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