All about the Citadel Military College of South Carolina
When you vacation in South Carolina, one of the first things you may notice is the pride we take in the military history of our state. Back in the colonial days we were instrumental in defending our shores against marauders of all nationalities and occupations; the coast of South Carolina often needed to protected against pirates as well. (1) Because of this pride in all things military, it’s only natural that one of the six major military colleges that exist in the United States today, was established in Charleston, in 1742.
History of the Citadel
Originally called the South Carolina Military Academy, the Citadel was located in downtown Charleston on Marion Square, where it survived proudly for many years, serving as a battalion unit during the Civil War until Union soldiers commandeered the building in 1865. The Citadel became an educational establishment once again in 1888, much to the relief of our state, and probably the military itself, a Citadel graduate is a patriotic one, with a large portion of its graduates going on to serve in the military. In 1922, the Citadel moved West…Northwest, that is to the Ashley River on the northwest side of town where it remains standing today. (2)
The Citadel Today
The Citadel Military College of South Carolina is most popularly referred to as the Citadel and is an imposing institution that is still in use as a school for higher learning today. Majestic white buildings, reminiscent of castles, surround an open square with a red and white checked floor; this is where the cadets line up before dress parades and other special events. (3) There is also a beach house facility for this beautiful campus located right here in Isle of Palms, a must see when staying in the area! The stately and stunning appearance of this nearly 300-year-old college draws tourists from all over the world just as its superior education reputation attracts cadets eager to continue what is often a family tradition here in beautiful Charleston; the opportunity to wear the ring given to cadet officers during their first year at the Citadel. (4)
This ring is so important to the traditions that run strong through this venerable institution, that a statue sized copy of the ring has been made into a monument that stands at the entrance to the military college…visitors will want to make sure to get a picture of this unique statue; constructed of bronze and weighing in at a hefty 3000 pounds, the sight of it will take your breath away. (5)
Photo by By Mark Goebel – https://www.flickr.com/photos/sangre-la/2421247518, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47333511