GREENVILLE, S.C. – Media members are invited to three upcoming events to learn more about the community’s efforts to remember the 100thanniversary of the end of World War I and how soldiers trained here played a major part.
Don Koonce, a local historian who is a main driver behind the Remember Old Hickory Project will be speaking on Monday, August 13 at 12:00 p.m. for the Greenville Sertoma Club at the Poinsett Club 807 E. Washington St., Greenville; on Thursday August 16 at 12:00 p.m. for the Greenville History Club at the Poinsett Club and Wednesday, September 26 at 12:00 p.m. for the Greenville Military Club at the Poinsett Club.
The Remember the Old Hickory Project is a grassroots effort to remember Camp Sevier, which was one of the largest Army bases in America during the war. 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 to commemorate the historical significance of the long-gone camp and the sacrifices made by those who went through basic training there.
Camp Sevier was one of a nationwide network of 32 camps created in 1917 by President Woodrow Wilson’s declaration of war. Located about six miles from downtown Greenville, the camp covered some 1,900 acres in what is now the Taylors area. From 1917-18, Camp Sevier was the training site for more than 100,000 soldiers from Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.
In May of 1918, the Old Hickory Division shipped out to Europe and the Western Front. Facing immense defenses that pushed back other American divisions, the Old Hickory was the first an sole American division to break the “impenetrable” Hindenburg Line during the Battle of St. Quentin Canal on September 29, 1918 — an action that would lead to the end of the Great War. The success came at a high price. In only three months, from July through October of 1918, the 30thsaw more than 1,000 officers and enlisted men killed in action with another 7,178 either injured or declared missing in action.
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.