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”.
In the summer of 1916, sixty-five young men from Osceola County answered the call to form a National Guard unit, originally called Company K, but became Company B, 2nd Infantry. Their roster contained many familiar family names: Barber, Bass, Bronson, Carson, Farmer, Graves, Johnston, Lupfer, Makinson, Oliver, Padgett and Tress. A grand reception was given as the “lads” were sent off by train to Black Point Camp near Jacksonville where they would be deployed to Mexico to join in the fight against Poncho Villa.
They were welcomed home with great ceremony in March of 1917, but rest was short as war on the European front was building. In late July, Company B was automatically drafted into service and prepared to be shipped off to camp in Macon, Georgia, and joined by other local men who had been registered for military service.
Source: “Kissimmee Valley Gazette”
Photo Courtesy: Osceola County Historical Society