Letter: Sumter needs standalone military museum


I read the letter to the editor on Jan. 5, "Gem in downtown Sumter will become military museum." That idea has been circulating a while now. I understand that would be a good location, as people will be downtown and can easily walk there.

However, it is a very small building for what is called the Sumter County Military Museum. I have even heard that a building will be added off to the back of the Carnegie Library, in what is now the parking lot.

I love the idea to make the old Carnegie Library a Sumter County Center for Military Research. We even have the Sumter County Genealogical Society building two blocks away. FYI - The Sumter County Genealogical Society was in the Carnegie Library for many years before moving to the Sumter County Museum. They are also in need of a much bigger building to hold all of their material. Sumter is a very old town, and people from all over the world come here to do research on their families.

Now, to the point of my letter to the editor. I would love for the Sumter County Military Museum to have its own building. I would love for it to be new and huge. I would love to see it built on what is called Sumter Veterans Park. For those who don't know where that is, it's off U.S. 378 by the entrance to the Third Army base, or you might know it as USARCENT. It is where the eternal flame is and where all the flags are flying.

I know it would be very expensive, but there are grants and lots of military groups as well as a need for a military museum in this area. Patriots from Sumter have fought in every war that our country has been involved in. The fighting gamecock, Gen. Thomas Sumter, is from our area. George Edward Haynsworth, who fired the first shot of the Civil War, is from here. He fired the first shot of the Civil War (Jan. 9, 1861) in the effort to keep the Star of the West from bringing aid to Fort Sumter.

How about it, Sumter? Can we do it? Yes, we can, but we have to have our leaders to lead the way. How about it, military groups? Could you be behind this project?