National Lancers

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National Lancers
Country  United States
Allegiance  Massachusetts
Type US-Cavalry-Branch-Insignia.png  Cavalry
Role Ceremonial
Search and rescue
Part of Massachusetts Organized Militia
Garrison/HQ Framingham, Massachusetts
Anniversaries 31 October 1836
Engagements Battle of Antietam
Battle of Cold Harbor
Battle of Fredericksburg
Battle of Gettysburg
Siege of Petersburg
Battle of Spottsylvania
Battle of the Wilderness
Aisne-Marne Offensive
Second Battle of the Marne
Battle of Lorraine
Battle of Argonne Forest
Battle of Saint-Mihiel[1]
Brigadier General Mario DiCarlo

The National Lancers are a Massachusetts-based volunteer cavalry militia troop. The National Lancers, along with the Massachusetts National Guard and the Massachusetts State Defense Force, exists as a component of the Massachusetts Organized Militia.[2]


The Lancers were organized on 31 October 1836 at the request of Governor Edward Everett and organized as a light cavalry militia troop. The Lancers were created to provide an armed escort for the governor as well as protect Massachusetts against invasion and insurrection.[3]

The National Lancers fought in the American Civil War as a part of the Army of the Potomac, and took part in campaigns in South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. During the Boston Draft Riot in July 1863, the National Lancers prevented rioters from seizing the armory of the Boston Light Artillery.[3]

In June 1916, the Lancers - along with the rest of the 1st Squadron of Cavalry of the Massachusetts National Guard - were federalized and deployed to Texas in support of the Pancho Villa Expedition. In April 1917, the Lancers were re-designated as the Company A, 102d Machine Gun Battalion, 26th Division and subsequently deployed to France to fight in World War I. The unit was disbanded at Camp Devens in April 1919.[3]

After the end of World War I, the National Lancers was reorganized, with one troop remaining an official part of the Massachusetts National Guard and the other becoming a purely ceremonial unit. In 1940 the National Guard unit was re-designated as Battery A, 180th Field Artillery.[3]

On 6 July 1964, Governor Endicott Peabody passed a bill officially designating the National Lancers as an official component of the Organized Massachusetts Militia.[3]


The National Lancers serve as both the ceremonial cavalry of the Massachusetts Organized Militia and as a search and rescue unit.[3] In July 2004, the National Lancers were ordered into active state service to guard Camp Curtis Guild during the 2004 Democratic National Convention.[4] In their ceremonial capacity, the Lancers annually reenact the ride of Paul Revere and William Dawes.[5]

Legal status[edit]

The National Lancers are recognized as a component of the Massachusetts Organized Militia under Massachusetts state law.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Lancers Battle Streamers". Massachusetts National Lancers Photo Gallery. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Our History". Official National Lancers Website. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Burge, Kathleen. "Framingham troop brings Revere's famed ride to life". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Tobin, Bill (April 12, 2014). "Paul Revere Rides Again". Holliston Reporter. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 

External links[edit]