First Lt. Frederic René Coudert, Jr. was a Guardsman with New York's Squadron A who volunteered for federal service when the U.S. Military went to war with Spain in 1898. Coudert led Troop A of the New York Volunteer Cavalry to Puerto Rico and back while wearing the uniform on display in our museum.
Hi, I’m Will Roulett, Director of the National Guard Memorial Museum, here in DC, and this is YOUR Minuteman Minute! Days after the US declared war on Spain in April 1898, the New York National Guard’s Squadron A volunteered for federal service. Select members formed Troop A of the New York Volunteer Cavalry. First Lieutenant Frederic Rene Coudert, Jr., who wore this coat and hat, was among them. National Guard units at that time could not deploy overseas. So, needing to enlarge his deployable military, President McKinley called for volunteers. National Guard members answered immediately, forming new Volunteer units. Coudert commanded Troop A during training, its time in Puerto Rico, and until they returned home and were mustered out in November 1898. The Spanish-American War was brief but demonstrated the need for the National Guard as a combat reserve. Afterward, Congress passed laws that modernized the Guard, making it better funded, uniformly trained, and more ready. Come see this and a whole lot more at the National Guard Memorial Museum. I’m Will Roulett [Look at watch.] and that’s been your Minuteman Minute brought to you by the National Guard Educational Foundation.