Company B 2nd Florida Infantry unit has been featured in previous blogs, but have you wondered what happened to these men? News articles discovered in the Osceola County Historical Society archives tell of a reunion held by the “Border Boys”, an appropriate name for the U.S. Army horsemen who crossed the Rio Grande from Texas in 1916 to fight the Mexican bandit, Pancho Villa. In the fall of 1969 invitations were sent to twenty of the surviving members, thirteen still resided in Kissimmee and two in St. Cloud, while others lived in California. Fifteen or sixteen reunions had previously been held on the ranch of Jennings Overstreet, whose father Mack was one of the “Border Boys”.
They were sent to Laredo, Texas to guard the international bridge and keep bandits from crossing the Rio Grande into the United States. None of the men ever exchanged fire with Pancho Villa or any Mexican bandit. Mack Overstreet told the story of how they stripped off their clothes and swam across the Rio Grande, just to say they had been in Mexico. But they still enjoyed gathering once a year to swap tales of their time together in 1916.
Some of the men remaining in 1969 were: Sgt. G.W. McGowan, Sgt. E.L. “Bo” Fennell, Sgt. H.J. Tindall; Pvts. J.C. Prentis, Ed Newton, T.E. Bowen, Howard Hertzel, Marvin Driggers, Horace Padgett, Mack Overstreet, Joe Butler, Bob Smith and John Bronson.
Source: “Osceola Sun”, November 10 and 12, 1969, articles by Joe Lambert and Frank Carroll
Photo: “Osceola Sun”, November 12, 1969 (one man appears to have been left out when men were identified)