HomeHistoryArmories Eligible for Listing on the NRHPMount Pleasant Armory Complex

Mount Pleasant Armory Complex

Motor Vehicle Storage Building

None.

Armory Building:

Architect: David LeRoy Parrott
Contractor: C. W. Blanchard Construction Co.
Cost: $139,141 (conflicting cost $191,040)
Completition Date: April 29, 1963 (conflicting date June 3, 1963)
Dedicated: October 19, 19631

SCARNG’s Headquarters Company of the 118th Infantry Regiment, which was for a long time located at the Guard facility at Mount Pleasant after 1963, has a long history dating back to the earliest of South Carolina’s infantry organizations. Known as the “Palmetto Regiment,” the 118th Infantry saw action in the Seminole War of the 1830s, in the War with Mexico in 1846, and throughout the American Civil War at such battles as Fort Sumter, First and Second Bull Run, the Peninsula Campaign, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. The Palmetto Regiment received its present numerical designation during World War I, when it was the first American regiment to enter Belgium in 1918, after they helped force the collapse of the German “Hindenburg Line.” The regiment also earned honors at St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, and Lorraine, with troops from the 118th earning six of the seventy-two Congressional Medals of Honor awarded to Army units for service in World War I. During World War II, the 118th was sent to Iceland to relieve British troops and serve as the Iceland Base Command, then served as a training and support unit in the United Kingdom and in Continental Europe following the liberation of France.2

When SCARNG was organized in 1947, the 188th was again reformed and assigned to the Low Country region, where Headquarters Company made its base in the West Wing of the Old Citadel in Charleston. Fifteen years later, the city of Mount Pleasant donated about six and a half acres of land to SCARNG for the purpose of constructing a new armory on the site for the Headquarters Company of the 118th. The armory officially opened in 1963 and housed twenty-four officers, two warrant officers, and more than one hundred enlisted troops. In the years following its move to Mount Pleasant, the unit routinely served as a “standby” force to assist with hurricanes threatening the Carolina coast, and it provided peacekeeping and riot control aid in May 1968 and during Spring 1969 for clashes in Charleston. For a brief period of time in 1974-75, the 678th Engineer Detachment (Utilities) was also assigned to the Mount Pleasant location.3 As of 2005, Detachment 1, HHB, 118th Infantry Battalion, occupied the site.4 Company C, 4th Battalion, 118th Infantry occupied the facility during the site visit in 2010.

Meanwhile, the community has previously rented the 1963 armory for girls’ softball practice, dog obedience school, wedding receptions, Citadel graduation parties, and other similar events.5 Local personnel report that such activity has dwindled in recent years, although the city does use the building as a voting precinct.6 During an exhaustive search attendant to the site visit for this report, local personnel could not locate a historical file or any site plans or blueprints. Local personnel also insist, contrary to the findings of Kitchens, et al, in 2005, that the site is on long-term lease from the city of Mount Pleasant that will expire in 2012. No independent corroboration of this claim has been found.7

As of 2010, the Mount Pleasant facility consisted of nine structures/buildings located on approximately six acres of land just north of US Route 17 from the Mount Pleasant city center, including two storage containers, a Quonset hut, two small metal sheds, a brick FMS building used for local maintenance, a metal oil house, a larger metal storage building, and the 1963 armory. The two storage containers are of the conventional shipping container type and are portable. The Quonset hut, which was added to the facility as an NCO Club in 1973, is located about fifty yards to the southeast of the 1963 armory. Approximately 125 yards southeast of the armory is the brick, flat-roofed FMS building, which contains three vehicle bays and a small office area. The FMS was originally constructed as an OMS in 1977.

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  1. L. Mendel Rivers to Winston P. Wilson, October 14, 1963, Folder 1050-11, South Carolina, Box 4431, Army-NGB TAFFS, 1963, RG 168, NARA II; Winston P. Wilson to Olin D. Johnston, October 10, 1963, Folder 1050-11, South Carolina, Box 4431, Army-NGB TAFFS, 1963, RG 168, NARA II; Armory Dedication Fact Sheet, October 1, 1963, Folder 1050-11, South Carolina, Box 4431, Army-NGB TAFFS, 1963, RG 168, NARA II.

  2. Rhodes, 317.

  3. Rhodes, 221 and 317.

  4. Kitchens, et al, 65.

  5. Kitchens, et al, 65.

  6. First Lieutenant Jordan Hatfield, personal conversation, October 21, 2010.

  7. Jordan Hatfield.