Military Wiki
104th Infantry Regiment
104 INF REG.png
Coat of arms
Active 14 November 1639 – 2005
Country United States of America
Branch Army National Guard
Type Infantry regiment
Motto(s) Fortitude et Courage
Anniversaries 14 November 1639
Engagements King Phillip's War
*Battle of Bloody Brook
French and Indian War
Revolutionary War
*Battle of Bunker Hill
American Civil War
*Battle of Gettysburg
*Battle of Spotslvania
Spanish-American War
World War I
*Battle of Bois Brule
World War II
*Battle of the Bulge
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Distinctive unit insignia 104thinfantryregiment.png

The 104th Infantry Regiment traces its history to 14 November 1639, when it was first mustered as the Springfield Train Band in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1662 the unit was formed into the Hampshire Regiment of the Massachusetts Militia. It later served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, with Union forces in the American Civil War, and as a federalized Massachusetts National Guard regiment with the U.S. Army during Spanish-American War, Mexican Border Campaign, World War I and World War II. The last active element of the regiment, the 1st Battalion, was deactivated in 2005 and the soldiers and lineage transferred to the 1st Battalion, 181st Infantry Regiment.

Heraldic items[]

Coat of arms[]

  • Blazon:
    • Shield: Per chevron and enhanced Argent and Azure, in chief a cross Gules, between six mullets pilewise a crenelated torch of the first flamant of three of the third, and in base an Indian arrowhead point to base of the first.
    • Crest: That for the regiments of the Massachusetts National Guard: On a wreath of the colors Argent and Azure a dexter arm embowed clothed Blue and ruffed White Proper the hand grasping a broad sword Argent the pommel and hilt Or.
    • Motto: FORTITUDE ET COURAGE (Fortitude and Courage).
  • Symbolism:
  1. The shield is white and blue – the old and the present Infantry colors.
  2. Indian Wars and disturbances are indicated by the Indian arrowhead.
  3. The cross of St. George recalls Revolutionary War service.
  4. The "per chevron" division of the shield represents the "Bloody Angle" at Spotsylvania during the Civil War.
  5. The crenelated portion of the torch is representative of Spanish War service.
  6. The torch was a device painted on the 104th Infantry Regiment equipment during World War I for easy identification, the three flames representing the three centuries of existence of the 104th Infantry Regiment.
  7. The six mullets symbolize the six major engagements during World War I.
  • Background:
  1. The coat of arms was originally approved for the 104th Infantry Regiment on 1926-11-05.
  2. It was redesignated for the 104th Infantry Regiment on 1961-04-08 under the Combat Arms Regimental System (CARS).

Distinctive unit insignia[]

  • Description:
  1. A silver color metal and enamel device 1 18 inches (2.9 cm) in height consisting of a shield blazoned: Per chevron and enhanced Argent and Azure, in chief a cross Gules, between six mullets pilewise a crenelated torch of the first flamant of three of the third, and in base an Indian arrowhead point to base of the first.
  2. Attached below the shield a motto scroll inscribed FORTITUDE ET COURAGE in black letters.
  • Symbolism: The insignia is the shield and motto of the coat of arms of the 104th Infantry.
  • Background:
  1. The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved on 1926-11-04 for the 104th Infantry Regiment.
  2. It was redesignated for the 104th Infantry Regiment on 1961-04-08, under the Combat Arms Regimental System (CARS).
  3. The insignia was amended on 1968-06-19 to include the motto scroll.


Formation and Colonial operations[]

First formed on 14 November 1639 as the Springfield Train Band, at Springfield, Massachusetts. This original band trained on the highlands, which George Washington later selected as the site of the United States National Armory.

Organized on 7 May 1662 as part of the Massachusetts Militia from several existing Western Massachusetts training bands, and named 'The Hampshire Regiment, because the majority of Western Massachusetts – including the region's de facto capital, Springfield – was, at the time, located within Hampshire County. (After the American Revolution, Hampshire County was split into three separate counties, currently administered by two different New England states – Hampden County, Massachusetts, with a capital at the City of Springfield; Hartford County, Connecticut, with a capital at the City of Hartford, and the current Hampshire County, Massachusetts, with a capital at the college town of Northampton.)

The Hampshire Regiment expanded on 16 November 1748 to form the 1st (South) Hampshire Regiment (i.e. near Springfield,) and the 2nd (North) Hampshire Regiment, (i.e. near Northampton and west.)

The 1st Hampshire Regiment expanded 1 January 1763 to form the 1st Hampshire Regiment (near Springfield,) and the Berkshire Regiment, (Northampton and west, encompassing the relatively recently settled Berkshires.)

Massachusetts Army and the American Revolution[]

The Hampshire Regiment formed the following Massachusetts Militia units on 27 May 1775 for service at Boston: Danielson's Bn., Fellows' Bn, Patterson's Bn. and Woodbridge's Bn.

The Hampshire Regiment formed the following Continental Army units: 1st Massachusetts Regiment, 13th Massachusetts Regiment, Porter's Regiment.

1st and 2nd Hampshire Regiments and Berkshire Regiment reorganized 29 November 1772 as the 9th Division. (Hampshire and Berkshire) Volunteer Light Infantry Companies. These companies serve as the light and flank companies for the Massachusetts Line.

Flank (Volunteer Militia) companies in Federal Service September–October 1814 as elements of the Elite Brigade at Boston.

9th Division, reorganized 1 July 1834 to consist of the Regiment of Light Infantry (Volunteer Militia).

Regiment of Light Infantry reorganized and redesignated 24 April 1840 in the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia as the 10th Regiment of Light Infantry

Civil War[]

Redesignated 26 February 1855 as the 10th Regiment of Infantry.

Mustered into Federal Service 21 June 1861 at Springfield, Massachusetts, as the 10th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment; mustered out of Federal service 6 July 1864 at Springfield.

Reorganized 11 November 1868 in the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia as the 2nd Regiment of Infantry.

National Guard and overseas service[]

Mustered into Federal service 10 May 1898 as the 2nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry for service in Cuba; mustered out of Federal service 3 November 1898.

(Massachusetts Volunteer Militia redesignated 15 November 1907 as the Massachusetts National Guard).

Mustered into Federal service 18 June 1916 for service at the Mexico Border; mustered out of Federal service 31 October 1916.

Mustered into Federal service 25 March 1917 at Westfield, Massachusetts.; drafted into Federal service 5 August 1917.

Redesignated 22 August 1917 as 104th Infantry, an element of the 26th Division for service in the war. (Reinforced by elements of 6th and 8th Massachusetts Infantry.)

Demobilized 25 April 1919 at Camp Devens, Massachusetts.

Reorganized 31 March 1920 in the Massachusetts National Guard at Springfield, Massachusetts as the 104th Infantry.

Redesignated 30 September 1921 as the 104th Infantry Regiment, an element the 26th Division (later redesignated as the 26th Infantry Division).

Inducted into federal service 16 January 1941 at Springfield, Massachusetts. Inactivated 29 December 1945 at Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts.

Reorganized and federally recognized 29 November 1946 at Springfield, Massachusetts.

Redesignated 1 May 1959 under the Combat Arms Regimental System as the 1st Battle Group, 104th Infantry

Reorganized 1 March1963, to consist of two battalions assigned to the 3rd Brigade of the 26th Division.

Reorganized 30 September 1992, 1st and 2nd Battalions are integrated to form 1st Battalion 104th Infantry.

Reorganized 1 October 1995 to consist of the 1st Battalion (Light Infantry), element of the 26th Infantry Brigade, 29th Infantry Division.

Inactivated, 1st Battalion 104th Infantry Regiment inactivated on 1 December 2005, and the remaining units were reconstituted and integrated into the 1st Battalion 181st Infantry Regiment.

1918 newspaper article[]

From The Republican newspaper of Springfield, Massachusetts
Enemy Storm Troops Hurled Back By Impetuous Yankees
Regiment Reveals Its Valor and Fighting Qualities in the Fierce Combats of Bois Brule.

Apremont!The name spells horror and glory for the 104th. In April 1918, the troops from Springfield, Massachusetts achieved a distinction never before won by American troops in the entire history of our armed forces. So valorously did they conduct themselves in the Bois Brule, a wood close to Apermont, that the French Government decorated the colors of the regiment with the Croix de Guerre. It was the first time such an honor had ever come to an American unit. In addition the regimental commander and 116 other officers and men had the bronze cross with its red and green ribbon pinned on their breasts. The regimental citation read: "For greatest fighting spirit and self-sacrifice during action of April10, 12 and 13, 1918. Suffering from heavy bombardments, and attack by very strong German Forces, the regiment succeeded in preventing their dangerous advance, and with greatest energy reconquered, at the point of bayonet, the few ruined trenches which had to be abandoned at the first onset, at the same tome making prisoners". In a general order issued a few days after the Bois Brule engagements, the French general Passaga declared: "During this fight the American troops gave proof not only of their splendid courage, which we know, but also of a brotherhood in arms which was absolute and ever present. With such men as these the cause of liberty is sure to triumph."

Continued below: The First American Croix de Guerre to be awarded to an entire regiment. This Medal was also given to Captain George Roberts, and the bronze frame was specially cast with the infantry tools of the day around the frame. The frame mold was broke and never reproduced to be one of a kind. The picture is Colonel George A. Roberts, Commander of the 104th Infantry Westfield Massachusetts.

Continued: Bois Brule was in La Reine sector on the southeasterly face of the St. Mihiel salient, a rough and ragged terrain where virtually all the tactical advantage lay with the enemy. In 1914 the sector had seen violent fighting, but as the war of attrition developed, it became moderately quiet with a sort of tacit understanding between the opposing forces to permit the situation to remain unchanged. The town of Apremont, whose name will be forever linked up with the 104th Regiment, lay outside the Allied lines. In the distance, grim and desolate Mont Sec loomed up as a splendid vantage point from which the enemy could observe the American positions. Difficult Spot to Defend.

The 26th Division took over the sector the first of April, the left of the line being assigned to the 104th. On the immediate left of the Western Massachusetts outfit was the 10th Colonial French Division. The regiments sub sector in the Bois Brule formed an awkward, narrow salient, hard to defend. The trenches were in poor condition, there was inadequate protection against shelling, and the marshy land made trench drainage difficult. The third battalion of the 104th, under command of Capt. George A. Roberts of Springfield, MA., immediately went into the forward position. The battalion commander, noting the small salient extending out and realizing how simple it would be for the enemy to pinch in on it and make prisoners of the men holding the position, asked and received permission to straighten out the line. K Co., under the command of First Lieutenant George Hosmer of Springfield, MA., performed this operation successfully. For some unaccountable reason, the French had persisted in maintaining the small and unimportant salient and had often lost prisoners to the enemy who would come over and successfully pinch it out. During the first three of four days the outfit held the sector, it was subjected to a harassing enemy fire. On 5 April the shelling grew in intensity and for the following four days the area was severely pounded by the enemy artillery. Evidently, an action was impending and the Germans were bent on shaking the moral of the troops by the concentration of shells.

Early on the morning of the 10th, the enemy blasting became particularly severe. The huge projectiles from the German minenwerfers came thundering down on the positions held by the third Battalion, shattering trenches and subjecting the men to terrific punishment. Capt. Roberts sent back word that help was needed to evacuate the wounded and suggested that the bandsmen be used as stretcher bearers. The suggestion was acted upon and the valiant work these men did under fire won for several of their number decorations from the French and American Governments. .As the dawn crept over Bois Brule on 10 April, the enemy troops made their appearance on the front held by the 3rd Battalion – a hillcrest. They came on relentlessly, but that assault wave of storm troops failed to dislodge the men of Western Massachusetts. It was a severe test of arms in which much technique of warfare was forgotten by the green Yanks who nevertheless battled vigorously and effectively to beat back the veteran enemy.

The artillery fire also was of great aid in stemming that first tide. Thus for the moment the 3rd Battalion had checked the attack on the night of the 11th despite heavy enemy shelling, the second Battalion came in to relieve the 3rd which had held the position for 10 days. On the 12th the enemy came over again with renewed energy. This time the French on the American's left fell back, exposing the left flank of the Yanks. But the Americans rose to this emergency and by a vigorous counter-attack, driving back remnants of enemy groups.

Gives Credit To Men By the 13th the affair of Bois Brule was over and the 104th had conclusively demonstrated that it could withstand the attack of seasoned troops. The men had revealed courage and resourcefulness and the officers had shown real leadership under trying conditions. A day or two later Capt. Roberts was promoted to the rank of major for the splendid manner in which he had handled his battalion. An incident characteristic of his modesty occurred at that time. The divisional commander, Gen. Edwards drove up to battalion headquarters and seeing Capt. Roberts he called him over to congratulate him. Capt. Roberts said: "The credit belongs to the men of the battalion, General, not to me." The General answered: "You would say that." On 28 April, the regiment was lined up at Bocq, not far from where it had demonstrated its mettle, and there Gen. Passaga decorated the colors of the outfit and scores of men and officers with the Croix de Guerre. His voice trembling with emotion, the French officer pinned the red and green ribbons to the 104th colors, saying: "I am proud to decorate the flag of a regiment which has shown such fortitude and courage."

Capt. Roberts was among those decorated with the French cross. He was also recommended for the American Distinguished Serviced Cross. Later, in the Bouconville sector, he was slightly wounded and in July he was transferred to provost marshal duty in Lanon.

Battle honors[]

Revolutionary War[]

  • Boston
  • Long Island
  • Trenton
  • Princeton
  • Saratoga
  • Monmouth
  • Quebec
  • Rhode Island
  • New York 1780

Civil War[]

  • The Peninsula
  • Antietam
  • Fredricksburg
  • Chancellorsville
  • Gettysburg
  • Virginia 1863
  • Wilderness
  • Spotsylvania
  • Cold Harbor
  • Petersburg

Spanish-American War[]

First World War[]

Second World War[]


Albertine, Connell. The Yankee Doughboy. Boston: Brandon, 1968. Print. (Retired General's reminiscences of his experiences as a young officer with the 104th Infantry Regiment in France during WWI.)

American Battle Monuments Commission. 26th Division Summary of Operations in the World War. Washington D.C.: American Battle Monuments Commission, 1944. Print. (Pamphlet with large, fold-out, annotated maps that detail the combat operations of the YD in WWI.)

Benwell, Harry A. History of the Yankee Division. Boston: Cornhill, 1919. Print. (A comprehensive narrative history of the YD in WWI published immediately after the war.)

Cole, Hugh M. The Lorraine Campaign. Vol. The European Theater of Operations. Washington: Center of Military History, 1950. Print. United States Army in World War II. (one volume from the official U.S. Army History of WWII. Outlines the combat operations in the Lorraine in WWII. This was the initial sustained action by the YD in the war.)

Cole, Hugh M. The Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge. Vol. The European Theater of Operations. Washington: Center of Military History, 1965. Print. United States Army in World War II. (one volume from the official U.S. Army History of WWII. Outlines the combat operations in the Ardennes and the Battle of the Bulge in WWII. In this action the YD played a pivotal role in the defeat of the German offensive.)

Connole, Dennis A. The 26th Yankee Division on Coast Patrol Duty 1942–1943. (This book is a chronicle of the training and the stateside patrol duties of the YD prior to deployment to Europe from January 1941 to 1944. It is a good source for the story of the pre-Pearl Harbor training and maneuvers. It focuses on the 181st Infantry Regiment.)

Courtney Richard, Normandy to the Bulge: An American Infantry GI in Europe during World War II, Chicago: Southern Illinois Press, 2000. (A memoir which offers a spirited view of the war in Europe from the point of view of a PFC.)

Fifield, James H. A History of the 104th U.S. Infantry AEF 1917–1919. 1946. Print. (Springfield newspaper man wrote this comprehensive history of the 104th Infantry Regiment from the organization in Westfield from the existing Mass. National Guard, through WWI and re-deployment.)

George, Albert E., and Edwin H. Cooper. Pictoral History of the Twenty-Sixth Division United States Army. Boston: Ball, 1920. Print. (A volume of Signal Corps photographs and a narrative history of the YD in WWI. Includes unit pictures down to the company level and a fold-out panoramic of the entire YD on review at Camp Devens in 1919.)

Gissen, Max, ed. History of a Combat Regiment 1639–1945. Salzburg, Austria, 1945. Print. (This is a theater-produced history of the 104th Infantry Regiment in WWII. It was created in Austria during occupation duty in 1945 and copies were distributed to all members of the regiment.)

Historical & Pictoral Review National Guard of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 1939. Baton Rouge: Army and Navy, 1939. Print. (This large yearbook, was a depression era project of the WPA. It includes a comprehensive historical sketch of the Mass. National Guard, and pictures and individual company histories for each unit.)

Palladino, Ralph A., ed. History of a Combat Regiment 1639–1945. Baton Rouge: Army and Navy, 1960. Print. (This was a re-editing of the theater produced pamphlet of the same name. It was produced for distribution to 104th Infantry Veterans. It uses the same narrative and maps as the 1945 product, but augments them with collected personal photos and U.S. Signal Corps photos to create a yearbook-style history.)

Passega, General. Le Calvaire De Verdun. Paris: Charled Levauzelle, 1927. Print. (This book is a history of the battles around Verdun in WWI written by the French Corps Commander that commanded the YD during the early campaigns of WWI. It includes descriptions of the actions of the YD in the Toul Sector and the actions of the 104th Infantry at Apremont.)

Sibley, Frank P. With the Yankee Division in France. Norwood, MA: Little Brown and, 1919. Print. (A Boston newspaper man who served as an “embedded reporter” with the YD from the founding throughout WWI. It is a comprehensive and readable account of the war.)

Taylor, Emerson G. New England in France 1917–1919. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1920. Print. (Another of the trio of volumes on the YD in the war published by newspaper men immediately following the war. Good narrative history.)

Westbrook, Stillman F. Those Eighteen Months. Hartford: Case Lockwood and Brainard, 1934. Print. (This is a personal printing of war letters by the commander of the 104th Machine Gun Company in WWI. It is an interesting and witty look at the war as it was being experienced by CPT Westbrook.)

External links[]

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