“First Regiment Is to Leave Tonight,” from the Feb. 1, 1917 issue of the Hickory Daily Record. While the troops were returning home from the fighting in Mexico, the United States was approaching entry into World War I, as can be seen by other headlines on the front page: “President Likely to Send Ultimatum,” “New Submarine Warfare Fraught With Danger,” “Neutral Ships to Remain in Port,” “Spain Talking of Action Also,” Lansing Confers on Submarine Issue,” “Germany’s Declaration Causes Jolt in England,” “Cotton Futures Tumble in Panic,” “Stocks Fly to Pieces Like Scraps,” and “Full Text of Germany’s New Note to United States.” Two months later, on April 2, 1917, Congress would declare war against Germany, and on Dec. 7, 1917 war was declared on Germany’s ally, Austria-Hungary.
Mrs. Geo. L. Lyerly received a night message from Captain Lyerly this morning saying that the first regiment would leave El Paso tonight for home and that the boys expected to be in Hickory Wednesday or Thursday of next week. The exact time of arrival here is not known of course, but Hickory people will give the soldiers a warm welcome when they hit the town again.