|Detail of Richard Andrew’s “Decoration of the Colors of the 104th United States Infantry,” |
painted in the State House in 1927.
A large mural on the third floor features a group of WWI era soldiers standing with two flags. The men are from the 104th infantry regiment of the 26th “Yankee” Division, and in this painted scene they become the first American military unit to have its colors (flag) decorated by a foreign government.
French corps commander General Fenelon Passaga awarded the decoration for the unit’s exceptional bravery during the Battle of Apremont on April 20, 1918. “I am proud to decorate the flag of a regiment which has shown such fortitude and courage,” he said. “I am proud to decorate the flag of a nation which has come to aid in the fight for liberty.”
|Almost 10 years after the decoration ceremony, a reenactment was held at Camp Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts. |
This photograph of the scene served as inspiration for the mural.
|Julian T. Martin of Company L, |
104th Infantry Regiment.
The mural of the 104th Infantry Regiment is located on the third floor between the Senate Leader and Senate Clerk’s offices, opposite the entrance to the House of Representatives. The State Library is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.