The Military Museum recently acquired an Officer's Coatee which came from the Utica Citizens Corps which was formed in 1837. This coatee belonged to Dr. James G. Hunt, 1st Lt. Assistant Surgeon who joined the Utica Citizen Corps in 1888, which then was known as the 44th Separate Company, New York National Guard.
“We Lead the Way”
A Brief History of the Utica Citizens Corps and the 107th Military Police Company
Tracing its lineage through the Utica Independent Infantry Company and the Utica Citizens Corps, the 107th Military Police Company of the New York Army National Guard is one of the oldest military units in the United States. For more than two hundred years, members of the 107th MP Co. and its ancestral units have proudly served the local community, the state, and the nation in every major conflict from the War of 1812 through the Global War on Terrorism. With dedication and determination, the men and women of the 107th MP Co. and their predecessors have fulfilled the sense of service and initiative implicit in the motto of the Utica Citizens Corps—“We lead the way.”
In 1808, a group of Utica citizens formed the Utica Independent Infantry Company and volunteered to serve as a separate company of the 134th Infantry New York State Militia during the War of 1812 where it was stationed at Sackett’s Harbor during the harsh winter of 1813-1814. After the war, the Utica Independent Infantry Company reverted to private status and became a regular feature in local ceremonies and parades.
However, membership and interest for the Independent Infantry Company declined throughout the 1830s and on December 20, 1837, Captain E.K. Barnum, a regular Army officer, founded the Utica Citizens Corps with renewed enthusiasm. For more than two decades, the UCC enjoyed great popularity as an independent military unit, functioning as a respected social club and providing an important military spirit for community events and celebrations.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, the UCC immediately volunteered and was accepted as Company A of the 14th New York Volunteer Infantry to serve for two years. The 14th Regiment served in Virginia and participated in no less than twenty skirmishes and battles including the Seven Days’ Battle, Antietam, and Fredericksburg.
After the war, the Corps resumed its busy schedule of parades, drills, and social events but in 1887 its members voted to join the New York State National Guard and were mustered into service as the 44th Separate Company. During the Spanish-American War (1898), the 44th Separate Company was re-designated Company E of the 1st New York Volunteers and sent to California and then to Honolulu, Hawaii for the duration of the war. In 1905, the 44th Separate Company was re-designated Company B, 1st New York Infantry and during World War I was called into federal service and re-designated Co. B, 1st Pioneer Infantry where it participated in the Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne, and Meuse-Argonne Offensives.
Co. B returned to Utica and to state service in 1919 and was consolidated and re-designated as Company L, 10th Infantry Regiment, National Guard New York in 1921, which it remained until it was drafted into federal service and re-designated as the 106th Regiment, 27th Infantry Division in late 1940. After training at Ft. McClellan, Alabama and garrison duty in Hawaii, Co. L fought in the Central Pacific Campaign at Eniwetok Atoll and Saipan in 1944 and at the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. Co. L had several designations after the war until it was converted to a military company in 1959 and in 1968 consolidated with the 107th Military Police Company. The 107th MP served in Kuwait during Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1991.