In Camp And At The Front: World War I Selections from South Carolina Political Collections

South Carolina Political Collections


Several collections in SCPC contain material dating from the Great War.

Solomon Blatt (1895-1986):  Although he was at first found to be physically unfit, Blatt appealed to then-Congressman James F. Byrnes for help in getting a waiver allowing him to serve. Blatt was eventually accepted and sent to the front lines in France, where he remained until early 1919. Blatt later became one of the legends of 20th-century South Carolina politics, serving as a member of the General Assembly for more than 50 years, the majority of the time as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Joseph R. Bryson (1893-1953):  After graduating from Furman University in 1917, Bryson served in the U.S. Army ambulance service at Camps Oglethorpe, Jackson, Sevier, and Gordon. He attained the rank of second lieutenant, and after the war was in the American Legion and a member of the Infantry Officers Reserve Corps until 1934.  Bryson represented the Fourth District of South Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1939 until his death in 1953.

Olin D. Johnston (1896-1965):  Johnston enlisted in the Army National Guard in 1917 and served with the 117th Engineer unit, which was attached to the 42nd (Rainbow) Division. He served eighteen months overseas and attained the rank of sergeant.  Johnston served South Carolina as a U.S. Senator from 1945 until his death in 1965.

Heber Thomas (1889-1959):  Father-in-law to newspaperman William D. Workman, Thomas enlisted as a private in the army during the War, receiving his military training at Clemson in May and June of 1918, and at Camp Meade, Maryland. His unit shipped overseas in August 1918. Thomas served chiefly in France, with a field artillery unit of the 79th Division of the American Expeditionary Force and later with the Army of Occupation.

Herbert Wickenberg:  Father of newspaperman Charles H. Wickenberg, Jr., Herbert attended The Citadel and fought in France during the War. By February of 1919, he was serving in the Headquarters Detachment of the American Peace Commission in Paris.

Charles Cecil Wyche (1885-1966):  During the Great War, future U.S. Attorney and U.S. District Judge Wyche served with the 4th Infantry, American Expeditionary Forces of the U.S. Army, and achieved the rank of Major.

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