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"S" is for Stowers, Freddie (d. 1918)

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"S" is for Stowers, Freddie (d. 1918). Soldier, Medal of Honor recipient. This Anderson County native was the nation’s only African American from World War I to be awarded the Medal of Honor. He was drafted in October 1917 and underwent training at Camp Jackson. He was sent overseas as a member of the all-black 93rd Infantry Division. Because white U.S. generals did not want to command black troops, the regiment was attached to the French army. Corporal Stowers distinguished himself in action and lost his life on September 28, 1918. His commander recommended him for the Medal of Honor, but through administrative oversight or racism the award was never processed. Army regulations allowed the process to resume and on April 24, 1991, President George Bush presented the medal to Freddie Stowers’s surviving sisters.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.