Andersonians in War exhibit is military history displayed through the experience of Anderson County veterans.
Andersonians in War
Consider donating to our new exhibit.
The Anderson County Museum is in the fundraising stage for our new permanent exhibit, Andersonians in War. Highlighting the heroes of our county and its rich military history, this permanent exhibit will zoom in on the personal experiences of those who were there, giving visitors a chance to live these stories rather than simply read them. Each tale included in this exhibit will offer a unique window into our military past, from the Revolution to the modern day. Our hope and mission is to preserve the stories of our county’s veterans, past and present, and to inspire appreciation for the sacrifices they have made for the betterment of this county, state, and nation.
Visitors will enter the exhibit through Veteran’s Hall, a beautiful chamber of black marble and skylights featuring the American Flag and the Military Branch Seals of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. Once in Veteran’s Hall you will see the names of Andersonians, their branch of service, rank and date of service etched in white onto the black marble. These blocks are 5” X 12” and are included in an overall panel. There will be 30 names on each panel, 24 total panels, adding up to 720 names. Any veteran or service member who has lived in Anderson County is eligible for inclusion in Veteran’s Hall.
Opening in late 2021, Andersonians in War will offer the military history of our county and state. Designed by Chapman Design Group Inc., military history will be displayed through the experiences of real Anderson County veterans. Covering each major American conflict from the founding of our nation to the modern era, we will focus on real people from Anderson, whose lives offer unique glimpses into these familiar histories.Beginning with the Indian Wars and the American Revolution, we will see how our nation and state were forged out of the heat of battle.
Andrew Pickens and Robert Anderson both grew into leadership roles during the war while developing a lifelong friendship. Together, they helped secure the victory of the colonies and negotiated the boundaries of South Carolina with the Cherokee Nation. In Robert Anderson’s great achievement we find the namesake of Andersonville, Anderson, and Anderson County.The treaties negotiated by Pickens and Anderson carved out a place for our local history to unfold.
The life of Governor James L. Orr offers a prime glimpse into how a raging Civil War tested our county and its people. In July of 1861, Orr entered the camp at Sandy Springs where his Orr’s Rifles regiment awaited orders. He reportedly told his men: “Well boys, you are headed for hell, but if you are determined to go, I’ll go with you.” The devotion of these men and the cunning of their leaders have been remembered for generations since and will not be forgotten in Andersonians in War.
One of the greatest stories in our county’s past is that of Corporal Freddie Stowers. When the battle on the Meuse Argonne front had raged for three arduous days, the German forces lured Stowers’ unit out of their trenches with a false surrender. They opened fire, brutally destroying over half of the remaining Allied forces. Stowers took up arms in the turmoil and rallied his compatriots to victory, though he gave up his own life in the process. Corporal Stowers was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously in 1991.
Stories like these are known to many Anderson residents. A prime objective in this new exhibit will be to highlight untold stories of lesser known warriors in addition to the familiar ones. We look to the likes of Sergeant William Funk, who served in Iraq in the late 2000s. He kept a piece of home with him at all times by playing music with the Baghdad Bad Boys, a bluegrass band made up entirely of soldiers.
Another example is Army Master Sergeant Robert Latham, a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War who actually cooked a thanksgiving meal for the White House. The unique experiences of local heroes will make this exhibit different from any other military display in the nation. In addition, the bravery and heart shown by soldiers like these and their families will inspire and inform all aspects of Andersonians in War.