Date of Award

7-2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

History

Advisor

Marks, Steven G.

Committee Member

Anderson , Paul C.

Committee Member

Saunders, Jr. , Richard L.

Abstract

Out of the South's defeat in the Civil War emerged proponents of the Lost Cause and a desire to remember and perpetuate the South's honor in the war. This desire to commemorate fallen loved ones and to preserve their memory continued into the twentieth century, most notably the era following the First and Second World Wars.
Based on the South's strong sense of military tradition and remembrance established after the Civil War, a scholarly debate has emerged in recent decades over the meaning of military commemorations and monuments. One side of the argument views World War I commemorations as a continuation of traditional ways of understanding war and remembering the fallen. The other side of the argument contends that the shock of World War I, or the 'war to end all wars,' which is reflected in the adoption of modern styles of design and a modern mentality in ceremonies of remembrance. In the context of this debate, South Carolina's World War monuments exhibit both traditional and modern styles of commemoration, but the overwhelming trend has been traditional.
I used newspaper accounts and photographs to tell the stories of these monuments, from their creation to dedication to present day. Some monuments have deep histories, some are older than others, and some are all but forgotten. What remains are the monuments themselves and the messages they continue to tell society
about South Carolina, a state steeped in war memorialization, told in another post-war era eighty years later.

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