Lecture at museum covers role of 30th Division in Battle of Bellicourt Tunnel

COLUMBIA, SC – The Battle of St. Quentin Canal was a pivotal battle of the First World War, coming just weeks before the Armistice was signed in November 1918. A combined force of American, Australian and British troops achieved the first full breach of the Hindenburg Line, doing much to convince Germany that it had little hope for victory.

In a free lecture at the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum on Friday, Dec. 14, local author Jerred Metz will talk about a pivotal part of that battle – the Battle of Bellicourt Tunnel. The lecture, part of the museum’s Lunch and Learn series, will be at noon and is open to the public.

The lecture continues the museum’s focus on the American 30th Infantry Division, which got its start in South Carolina, at Camp Sevier in Greenville. It was formed from a federalized National Guard unit that had supported the action against Pancho Villa in Texas in 1915-16. The division was made up primarily of men from South and North Carolina and Tennessee.

After hearing the lecture, visitors may also wish to view the museum’s new exhibit on the 30th, also known as the “Old Hickory” Division. There they can see uniforms, a German stick grenade and a British Lee Enfield – the rifle carried by soldiers of the 30th, because they were attached to the Second Army of the British Expeditionary Force rather than the main American Expeditionary Force.

Jerred Metz is a retired professor of writing and literature, having taught in South Carolina starting in 1999. He is the author of eleven books. His two most recent novels are The Angel of Mons: A World War I Legend, and its soon-to-be-published sequel, Bellicourt Tunnel: The Crowning Battle of the Great War.

About the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum

Founded in 1896, the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum is an accredited museum focusing on South Carolina’s distinguished martial tradition through the Revolutionary War, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the War on Terror, and other American conflicts. It serves as the state’s military history museum by collecting, preserving, and exhibiting South Carolina’s military heritage from the colonial era to the present, and by providing superior educational experiences and programming. It is located at 301 Gervais St. in Columbia, sharing the Columbia Mills building with the State Museum. For more information, go to https://crr.sc.gov/.

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