Sgt. York Exhibit Ends Nov. 30 At 6th Cavalry Museum

Monday, November 6, 2017
WWI Medal of Honor Recipient Alvin York being shown around the Army Post at Fort Oglethorpe by WWII Medal of Honor recipient Paul Huff of Cleveland, Tn. ca. 1943.
WWI Medal of Honor Recipient Alvin York being shown around the Army Post at Fort Oglethorpe by WWII Medal of Honor recipient Paul Huff of Cleveland, Tn. ca. 1943.

While the 6th Cavalry Museum is open year-round for visitors to learn more about the Sixth Cavalry and the Post they called home for so many years, for a limited time visitors to the museum can view the exhibition “In the Footsteps of Sgt. York.” The exhibition, from the Museum of the American Military Experience, tells the story of Alvin York, the Tennessee farm boy who goes on to become one of American’s most decorated World War I soldiers.  

"Alvin York is known to many through the history books as the man who successfully led an attack against a German machine-gun nest in the Argonne Forest in France on Oct.

8, 1918. Even though York and his seven men were grossly outnumbered, they were able to capture the machine guns and 132 German soldiers. Because of this, York was awarded the Medal of Honor, the United States’ most distinguished military award. He was also promoted to sergeant.  In 1919, when York was discharged from service, he was discharged in Fort Oglethorpe. 

"Over the years, many began to doubt whether or not the events of Oct. 8, 1918, took placed as York had described them. In 2006, the first of three expeditions went to France in search of the site where York’s acts of heroism happened in an effort to validate the story. Using state-of-the-art technology such as Global Positioning Systems and Geographic Information Systems, researchers were able to pinpoint the exact location of the events described by York, as well as find numerous artifacts," officials said.

The 1,000 square foot temporary exhibit is the result of the three expedition trips. Eighteen exhibit panels help visitors get to know the man behind the story, to find out who Sgt. Alvin York really was, from his humble beginnings in Tennessee to his military service and beyond. Visitors also learn about the technology used during the expeditions to France and the mix of science and history used in the research. Find out the real story of Oct. 8, 1918, blow-by-blow, and view numerous artifacts recovered from the site. 

In addition to the York exhibit, the Ridgeland High School art exhibit of World War I propaganda posters is on display along with trench art, and the other World War I displays, including photos of York during World War II at Fort Oglethorpe doing troop review and touring the Post with Medal of Honor recipient Paul Huff from Cleveland, Tennessee.

“In the Footsteps of Sgt. York” is on display at the 6th Cavalry Museum through November 30. The exhibit is included with regular museum admission. Funding for this exhibit is provided by the Lyndhurst Foundation. For more information or to schedule your church, senior, school or group tour, call 770-861-2860. 

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I.

"What better way to commemorate this event than with a visit the 6th Cavalry Museum and the Historic Army Post at Fort Oglethorpe? 

"Unknown to many who travel through Fort Oglethorpe on a regular basis, the Historic Army Post at Fort Oglethorpe played a significant role in the United States’ involvement in WWI. The parts of the Post visible today – the parade field, officers housing, barns and a few other buildings - are all that remain of a once thriving and bustling Army Post that helped mobilize over 60,000 troops during WWI. 

"Fort Oglethorpe’s Army Post began in 1902 with 810 acres adjacent to Chickamauga Battlefield. In 1904, the Post was named Fort Oglethorpe. When the United States entered into WWI in 1917, the Post quickly grew in size. Three army camps called the Post home as well as a number of German prisoners of war. To accommodate the Post’s growing population, a number of temporary buildings were erected in the open spaces of Chickamauga Battlefield. By 1918, the post had grown to over 1,600 buildings. 

"During WWI, the Post was home to Camp Greenleaf, Camp Forrest, and Camp McLean, each camping specializing in training troops for specific jobs. Camp Greenleaf trained medical personnel who then worked on the wounded in the field. Camp Forrest trained troops in trench warfare and long-distance artillery firing. Camp McLean trained the officers needed for leadership in the field. 

"After the end of WWI, the Post at Fort Oglethorpe continued to train troops, and beginning in 1920, became the official home to the Sixth Cavalry. The temporary buildings and trenches dug for training at Chickamauga Battlefield were removed, and life continued on for the men stationed at the Post," officials said.

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