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Lafayette and the National Guard

The visit of the Marquis de Lafayette to the U.S., in 1824-25, was in every sense a triumphal procession. The 2d Battalion, 11th New York Artillery, was one of many militia commands turned out in welcome. This unit decided to adopt the title "National Guard," in honor of Lafayette's celebrated Garde Nationale de Paris. The Battalion, later the 7th Regiment, was prominent in the line of march on the occasion of Lafayette's final passage through New York en route home to France. Taking note of the troops named for his old command, Lafayette alighted from his carriage, walked down the line, clasping each officer by the hand as he passed. "National Guard" was destined to become the name of the U.S. militia.