Mayor Tecklenburg to Lead Tribute to World War I African-American Infantry Regiment
Mayor John Tecklenburg, Perry W. James IV of Charleston and Marc Edingburg of Chicago in a tribute to 371st Infantry “Colored” Regiment of World War I acclaim, set for 10 am on Tuesday, February 28th in Council Chamber at Charleston City Hall, located at 80 Broad Street.
The tribute falls on the 104th anniversary of the February 28, 1919 demobilization of the regiment, which took place at then Camp Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina, later named Fort Jackson. The regiment was formed at Camp Jackson on August 31, 1917 and received its training there.
Mr. James, a researcher and re-enactor of WWI history and soon-to-be-published author, is the grandson of Sgt. Perry Lloyd of the 371st Infantry. Mr. Edingburg is the great grandson of Sgt. Henry Dokes, also of the 371st. Mr. James was instrumental in securing posthumous presentations of the Purple Heart to both of these soldiers more than 100 years after their service in WWI. These spokespersons will recount the under-told story of this historic US military regiment.
Other spokespersons at the tribute will include:
- General Glenn M. Walters, (Ret.) USMC, President of The Citadel
- Stephen Driscoll, Commander, American Legion Post 147
The 371st Infantry consisted of African-American draftees, mostly from South Carolina.
The regiment fought in the September 28 through October 6, 1918 historic battle to capture Côte 188, a strategic hill outside Champagne, France. For its extraordinary service in the Champagne offensive, the entire regiment was awarded the Croix de Guerre, a high French military decoration denoting heroic deeds in combat. Upon their return to the U.S. in February 1919, the regiment was received with a Parade and Reception in Columbia, South Carolina.
At the February 28th event, Mayor Tecklenburg will present a proclamation in honor of the 371st Infantry “Colored” Regiment and there will be a reading of the names of Charleston area soldiers who served in the 371st.
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