Date of Award

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

History

Committee Member

Dr. Alan Grubb

Committee Member

Dr. Rod Andrew

Committee Member

Dr. Jerome Reel

Abstract

In April 1917, Clemson Agricultural College was a small, relatively-unknown land-grant college. The college had only been open for 23 years, 8 months with an average annual enrollment of 616 students when the United States declared war and entered World War I. By the end of the war, over 821 Clemson graduates and former students would serve in the U.S and Allied military services. James C. Littlejohn, the registrar from 1910 - 1925, attempted to catalog the service of these alumni during and after the war. In order to conduct this study, a cross reference of Clemson students from 1896 - 1920 with soldier rosters from World War I was necessary. Once this list had been assembled, tracking Clemson alumni through the war is possible by cross referencing their records with their assigned unit. This analysis has permitted locating Clemson Alumni on the battlefield and following them through the course of the war. Clemson alumni earned 2 Medals of Honor, 10 Distinguished Service Crosses, 1 Navy Cross, and 1 Distinguished Service Medal in addition to multiple Silver Star Citations and foreign decorations. Thirty-one alumni gave their lives for their country. This record, combined with the scope of Clemson alumni's military record, demonstrates a distinct contribution which went beyond what could be expected of such a small, young institution.

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