GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Remember Old Hickory project will be a key part of the 2018 Military Appreciation Day at Flour Field on Sunday, July 1.
The annual Military Appreciation Day is put on by the Greenville Drive, and is an opportunity for the Drive and the entire Upstate community to recognize and thank the military for their commitment and service. This year’s event will include the U.S. Army Special Forces Parachute team; the Warbirds Vintage Aircraft Flyover and military displays.
The Remember Old Hickory Project will have Word War I reenactors there in uniform with a full display of combat weapons and gear, said Don Koonce, one of the organizers of the project. An authentic WWI ambulance will be displayed at the stadium as well. Historian Henry Johnson will have a display about the Old Hickory Division, the training at Camp Sevier and their remarkable role in the war. Short videos will be shown throughout the game. Old Hickory posters will be throughout the stadium and special Poppy stickers will be handed out to attendees. Learn more at www.greenvilledrive.com/military.
The Old Hickory Division, which was the nickname for the 30thInfantry, forged an eternal legacy for the community the day it broke the allegedly “unbreakable” Hindenburg line in 1918, leading to the end of World War I.
The Division’s training originated at Camp Sevier in Greenville and included hundreds of local soldiers as well as men from the rest of South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. The Remember the Old Hickory Project is a non-profit organization established to remember Camp Sevier, which was one of the largest Army bases in America during the war. Located about six miles from downtown Greenville, the camp covered some 1,900 acres in what is now the Taylors area.
Years beyond the impact made through training soldiers, Camp Sevier also sparked Greenville’s growth into the city we know and love today. Because of Camp Sevier, alongside 100,000 men who trained there, improvements were made to everything in Greenville from roads to schools. The army paved the national highway from Greenville to Camp Sevier, the first paved road in Greenville County.
Both the City of Greenville and Greenville County are working together with the Remember the Old Hickory Project to build a year-long series of celebrations commemorating the historical significance of the long-gone camp and the memory of those who went through basic training there.
“We are excited to be telling the story of the Old Hickory and how they changed the course of history,” Koonce said.
About the Remember the Old Hickory Project:
This non-profit organization aims to celebrate and honor the history of Camp Sevier, one of the largest U.S. Army bases during World War I. It was the home of the 30thInfantry Division, better known as the Old Hickory. More than 100,000 soldiers came through the camp. More information can be found at www.remember1918.com.