We Have A Story To Tell, Part 2 | Carolina Stories

Kaltura

During the Civil War, the Union and the Confederacy turned to the states to build and maintain their armies. While some volunteer units stayed home to defend South Carolina, many other units were transferred into Confederate service, and saw action in other locations throughout the war. The National Guard became federalized with The Militia Act of 1903, which meant many significant changes to guard units across the country. The most notable changes were funding, and improvements in National Guard training.

The first federalized call up for the National Guard was the Mexican border dispute in 1916, which proved to be a trial run for the battlefields of World War I. SC units such as the 117th Engineer Regiment, and the 118th Infantry distinguished themselves during The Great War. One Medal of Honor recipient, James C. Dozier, became Adjutant General of South Carolina in 1926. During Dozier’s tenure, he expanded the number of armories in SC. South Carolina units served in every major campaign in the European Mediterranean theater of the Second World War, such as Operation Torch, Operation Husky, Operation Avalanche, and even Operation Overlord.

General Dozier realized the importance of the new Air National Guard, and put the service into motion by taking ownership of Congaree Air Base, just east of Columbia. In the 73 years since that first muster in December 1946, the SC Air National Guard has been a major contributor to the defense of America. In 1950, Gen. Dozier established the Palmetto Military Academy. Many of the Guards leaders over the next 70 years would pass through the doors of PMA.