SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (02/01/2018) (readMedia)-- During the World War I centennial observance, the New York National Guard and New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs will issue press releases noting key dates which impacted New Yorkers, based on information and artifacts provided by the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
When the African American National Guard Soldiers of New York's 15th Infantry Regiment arrived in France in December 1917, they expected to conduct combat training and enter the trenches of the Western Front right away.
While the regiment literally laid the tracks for the arrival of the two million troops deploying to France, the regimental band toured the region, performing for French and American audiences at rest centers and hospitals.
Not that it mattered much to the Soldiers; they still carried their nickname from New York, the Black Rattlers, and carried their regimental flag of the 15th New York Infantry everywhere they went in France.
After learning valuable lessons in trench warfare from their French partners, the Soldiers of the 369th finally had their chance to prove their worth as combat troops when they entered the front lines, holding their line against the last German spring offensive near Chateau-Thierry.