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October 8, 2011     Times
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October 8, 2011

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;i Chestnut Home Guards - June 2, 1918 Kenneth Baumann of Milan, Michi- gan was back home for a time and brought in this photo of the Chestnut Home Guards. Ken found the photo at an online auction site. The photo was a panoramic photo that was 34" wide. It took a bit of photo shopping by your editor, but it's all here. Partly due to a fear that German agents would commit acts of sabotage within Illinois, the Home Guard was Oct. 1, 2011 created in 1917. The Home Guard was a cross between a civic club and a sheriff's posse. Each Home Guard company was to be governed through bylaws, one of which provided that the object of each company "...shall be to promote, develop and foster loyalty and patriotism for flag and country; to furnish elemen- tary military training and knowledge to its members for the purpose of enabling them to render service in defense of the country if called upon to do so, and to aid and assist in the relief of the families of those engaged in the federal military service, and to raise and distribute funds for these purposes." Eventually, over 200 Home Guard companies were organized. The men were given no pay or other compensa- tion, but were provided uniforms and weapons. Members benefited from having received some basic military education before being inducted into the service. Activities of the Home Guard included weekly drills, patriotic parades, assistance in Liberty Loan, Red Cross and kindred 'drives,' instruction of men Mt. Pulaski Times anticipating early induction into the army and, in a few cases, provided guard details for property protection. They also acted as funeral escort at burial of deceased soldiers sent home for burial and furnished firing squads at funerals under military, honors. Besides helping to rouse support for the war, the State Guard also acted to suppress disloyalty at home. Ken would like to learn more about the Chestnut Home Guard, individual members, and any activities they were called on to accomplish. 13