Born on April 21, 1924, in Colleton County, South Carolina, to Pauline and Charles Alister Witsell, Charles, Jr., grew up on Hampton Street in Walterboro. He attended the public schools of Walterboro. After graduating from Walterboro High School in 1941, he attended the Porter Military Academy for one year before entering The Citadel at the beginning of the 1942-43 academic year with the Class of 1946. He was a Cadet Private Fourth Class in Company M of the South Carolina Corps of Cadets.
Charles enlisted in the service on July 30, 1943 at Fort Jackson. Originally volunteering for the Army Air Corps, he was rejected because of defective vision. In August, 1943, he volunteered for infantry service, and received his basic training at Anniston, Alabama. He was sent overseas, first to Africa, then to the Anzio beachhead. He served overseas for several months in the medical corps prior to his death. He took part in the drive on Rome, Italy, and was killed in action on May 26, 1944 between Anzio and Rome.
Private Witsell was buried at the U.S. Military Cemetery at Nettuno, Italy. After the war, Charles’ body was repatriated to the United States. On Wednesday, September 1, 1948, he was laid to rest at Live Oak Cemetery in Walterboro. He was survived by his parents, a brother, John Mitchell Witsell, III,; a sister, Constance Witsell Simmons, and his grandmother, Emma J. Witsell, all of Walterboro.
Photo courtesy of The Citadel Archives and Museum, Charleston, South Carolina
The State, Columbia, S.C., August 31, 1948, p.7b.
1940 United States Federal Census
U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
U.S. Rosters of WWII Dead, 1939-1945
The Lair 1940, Walterboro High School
National Archives and Records Administration
Yearbooks of Colleton County
Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois, Sunday, May 31, 1942, p.43
This is another in a series of articles on Life on the Campus at our leading schools and colleges. By ELEANOR NANGLE
FOR THE last week more than 200 first classmen at the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina at Charleston, have been approaching, with a reluctance they wouldn’t have believed possible four years ago, the most eagerly anticipated event of their lives. As seniors they have led the corps for the last time. They have formed in the reviewing stand to receive the last parade. Yesterday they were graduated.
Today they are scattering to their homes in all parts of the country, most of them pausing only briefly before they enter the armed services. But something of them remains at the Citadel, adding in large or small measure to the vast stores of cadet tales and traditions there. And the spirit of the Citadel goes with them. In the life of all Citadel men the thread of Citadel memories is one of the most colorful, durable, and treasured in its whole tapestry.
Full-dress parade in the Spring of 1943 (Courtesy of The Citadel Archives)
The Citadel man has absorbed more than rigorous training of mind, body, and spirit, and when he reviews them, as all graduating cadets do on commencement day, he places new value on other gifts of the school to the student – the Spartan discipline, the good counsel, the friendships, the democracy, the pageantry of patriotism and the essence of it. (more…)
Daniel Library Director, David Goble, ’69, talks about the much anticipated re-opening of The Citadel Museum, which represents the history of The Citadel from it’s founding in 1842 to the present. This exhibit explores the long history of the school by showcasing some of our past and present uniforms displayed along a timeline. A display of The Citadel rings from 1895 to the present is also a focal point of the museum.
Look for other topical displays throughout the Daniel Library. Through a self guided tour, the visitor experiences the essence of each era in The Citadel’s history. (more…)
Excerpts from the like titled article written by Brian Hicks and published by Post & Courier, Charleston, South Carolina, March 4, 2016. FULL ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE
Pat Conroy, the best-selling novelist and proud adoptive son of the Lowcountry who wrote lyrically about Charleston and unflinchingly about The Citadel, died Friday. He was 70.
Cadet Pat Conroy, Class of 1967
Source: The Citadel Athletics
The author of “The Great Santini,” “The Lords of Discipline” and “The Prince of Tides” and eight other books passed away shortly after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer that had gone undetected. He died at 7:43 p.m., surrounded by loved ones and family.
The Citadel mourned his passing Friday night.
“This is a very sad day for The Citadel family. Pat Conroy was a world-renowned author, active in his community and a passionate alumnus of The Citadel. He will be missed,” Lt. Gen. John Rosa, Citadel President said.
He wore The Ring (more…)
“America’s Band” in 2015: The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes Invited Back to Tattoo in Scotland to Represent the US
In 2015, The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes will proudly represent the United States at the world’s largest musical event of its kind, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Scotland.
The only United States military college band to ever be invited to the exclusive Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo will be headed back to Edinburgh, Scotland, in July of 2015, with the help of supporters. The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes will again be the only U.S. band appearing on the medieval castle esplanade for the month-long festival of music, pageantry and demonstrations by military organizations from around the world. The program is broadcast in 30 countries to approximately 100 million people annually, according to the BBC.
“The links between Scotland and the Carolinas are well-founded and well-documented. So, on their return to Tattoo, the Regimental Band and Pipes of The Citadel will open with one of the great Scottish pipe tunes, from one citadel to another…as the stars and stripes fly high for America’s Band,” said BBC presenter Iain Anderson during the 2010 Tattoo.
The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, is working to raise the funds needed to send 80 band members, and all the necessary equipment back to the prestigious event for the third time. The college represented the U.S. after receiving the coveted invitation to the international festival, the largest of its kind in the world, in 1991 and then again in 2010. The Citadel was the first military college invited to Edinburgh (pronounced Ed-in-bur-uh) and is the only military college ever invited since.
The Citadel’s Class of 1931 
“We, the members of the Junior class, are extremely proud and grateful of the honor of being an important part of The Citadel. Perhaps greater classes have gone before us, but we doubt if any can show a greater devotion to and love for our Alma Mater.
Ours was the largest Freshman class ever to enroll at The Citadel, and the surviving Juniors of the hard grind of two years represent a small part of our classmates who first matriculated. Some have fallen by the wayside; others have battled heroically to attain the qualifications of a Junior in scholarship, military advancement, and moral leadership. Our path has been hindered by obstacles; but overcoming them, we have increased our momentum and have set our eyes on the goal of graduation next year.
Experience in various lines of duty has been acquired throughout our Freshman and Sophomore years. Realizing that vanity, arrogance, and boastfulness are detrimental to advancement, we hope and believe those factors have been removed in our first years here. Still we are conscious of imperfections in ourselves, our class, our school. An imperative duty thus faces us — to give our best for progress. We are determined not to be found wanting in that respect.
Ours is not a conservative class; neither is it radical. Our representatives have possibly been (more…)