The Citadel (2)

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The Citadel (2) (1842-1865, 1882-Active) - A Military College first established in 1842 as a Military School in Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina. Closed after the U.S. Civil War. Reopened in 1882 and now known as The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina.

Padgett-Thomas Barracks at The Citadel.
Large Class Ring Replica at The Citadel.
Parade Practice at The Citadel Parade Ground.

The Citadel (1)

Old Citadel Building in Marion Square now an Embassy Suites Hotel.

In 1832 the State of South Carolina erected Charleston Arsenal (1) in what is now Marion Square, Charleston. The arsenal was first garrisoned by federal troops from Fort Moultrie and then by South Carolina state troops. The state troops were replaced in 1843 by 20 students who became the first Corps of Cadets. The first class of six Cadets graduated from the Citadel Academy on 20 Nov 1846.

U.S. Civil War

On 20 Dec 1860, South Carolina seceded from the Union. The South Carolina General Assembly combined the Corps of Cadets at the Citadel and Arsenal into the Battalion of State Cadets and made them a part of the military organization of South Carolina.

On 9 Jan 1861, Citadel Cadets manning an artillery battery on Morris Island fired the first hostile shots of the Civil War at the federal steamship Star of the West.

On 18 Feb 1865, the Citadel ceased operation as a military academy when Union troops captured Charleston.

The Old Citadel at Marion Square in April 1865.


Old Citadel Building Historic Timeline.

The federal government confiscated the Citadel property and used it as a garrison for federal troops during Reconstruction until 1879.

On 29 Jan 1882, the Secretary of War ordered the commanding officer of the federal Military District of South Carolina to evacuate the Citadel. On 31 Jan 1882, the South Carolina General Assembly authorized the re-opened of the Citadel under the control of the State and a Board of Visitors.


On 2 Oct 1882, 189 cadets reported to the reopened Citadel. Colonel John P. Thomas, Class of 1851, who had headed the Arsenal Academy during the Civil War, was appointed Superintendent.

World War I

On 8 Apr 1917, Congress declared war on Germany signaling U.S. entry into World War I. All members of the Class of 1917 and 1918 entered military service upon graduation. In total, 316 Citadel graduates served in World War I, 277 as commissioned officers. Six graduates died in service and 17 were wounded.

The Citadel (2)

Summerall Chapel at The Citadel.

By 1918, the capacity of the Old Citadel on Marion Square was no longer adequate and a new campus was required. The City of Charleston offered, and the State accepted, a one hundred seventy-six acres tract adjacent to Hampton Park and along the Ashley River.

The original Romanesque style of architecture of the Old Citadel was followed in the construction of the new Citadel. Arches and courtyards were done in the style of those at the old Citadel. The cornerstone of the College Building was laid on 25 Nov 1920. The first main buildings to be completed were the main barracks (Padgett Thomas), the College Building (Bond Hall), Alumni Hall and the Mess Hall (Coward Hall).

World War II

During World War II a higher percentage of Citadel students entered military service than any college in the nation, except for the federal service academies. Citadel alumni were serving in the armed forces of allied nations even before U.S. entry into the war. Two hundred seventy-nine Citadel men gave their lives in service during WWII.

Post War

Parade Ground at The Citadel.

The Citadel established itself as one of the leading undergraduate liberal arts colleges in the Southeast and continued to expand its programs and facilities. An undergraduate Evening College was established in 1966, and a Graduate School program in 1968. Citadel Cadets and graduates have participated in every conflict including the Korean War, the Viet Nam War, the Gulf War, Kosovo, and the war on terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Current Status

The Citadel currently offers 23 undergraduate majors and 27 Master's programs through 9 academic divisions. Enrollment in the Corps of Cadets is 2,349 in the 2017-2018 academic year with 9% women and 25% minorities.

Location: 171 Moultrie St., Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina.

Maps & Images

Lat: 32.79722 Long: -79.96111

See Also:



Visited: 15 Feb 2018

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