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Fort Jackson's U.S. Army Chaplain Museum
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Welcome to the U.S. Army Chaplain Museum!


 

Located on the lower level of the U.S. Army Chaplain Center & School, the museum tells the history of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps from its inception in 1775 to present.

The museum highlights the real shapers of chaplaincy history – the men and women, officers and enlisted who share a common bond of ministering to soldiers and their families.  Their stories are told in chronological order through a variety of exhibits featuring early uniforms and insignia, chaplain equipment, field services and even a hospital scene.   There’s more – you can sing along with Bing Crosby in a rendition of “Soldiers of God”, read a Korean War-era chaplain assistant’s memoirs, see President Abraham Lincoln’s assignment order for a hospital chaplain, listen to General George S. Patton’s famous Weather Prayer, or play up to 600 songs on a Hymn Player.

Special exhibits feature heartrending stories, such as The Four Chaplains, a World War II episode where the chaplains aboard the German-torpedoed Dorchester selflessly gave their lives so other soldiers might be rescued.  Others include a piece of the Pentagon wall blown out by the events of 9/11 and the remains of a chaplain’s kit used by Medal of Honor recipient, Chaplain (MAJ) Charles J. Watters.  Chaplain Watters was killed during the Battle of Hill 875 near Dak To, Vietnam, in 1967.

The U.S. Army Chaplain Museum also houses the Chaplain Corps archives and a small reference library.  We offer tours and welcome researchers.  The museum is off Interstate 77, making it very assessable.  

Discover the courageous and poignant history of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps today.


Hours

  • Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Closed Weekends and Federal Holidays

Free Admission


How to Find Us

From Interstate 77, take Exit 12 (Forest Drive) onto Fort Jackson.  All visitors must stay in the far right lane and be prepared to show a driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of auto insurance for admittance on the Fort.  Once on Fort Jackson, continue on Strom Thurmond Blvd.  Make a left onto Lee Road and another left onto Benning Road.  The Parking Lot is on Benning Road, across the street from our facility.  The U.S. Army Chaplain Museum is located under the breezeway of the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School, just follow the banners to our door.

Click here for an interactive map.


News and Events

Chaplains use current events to maintain realism in training. click here


Memorable Training on Tracking Museum Memorabilia.  click here


Congratulations to Museum Volunteer, Chaplain Regimental Museum Association Board Member and Fort Jackson Volunteer Hall of Famer, Charlene Brandt, for 10 wonderful years of service.   She has diligently worked on many projects throughout the years and her contributions are reflected in the success of the museum.  Thanks, Charlene—we salute you!


The newly formed Military Museums of the Midlands group features U.S. Army museums in the greater Columbia area.  Besides the U.S. Army Chaplain Museum, four additional museums are affiliated, the U.S. Army Adjutant General’s Corps Museum, the U.S. Army Finance Corps Museum, the U.S. Army Basic Combat Training Museum (formally the Ft. Jackson Museum) and the SC Military Museum.  The SC Military Museum is the only museum listed not located on Fort Jackson.  Instead, its location is off Bluff Road, adjacent to Williams-Brice Stadium, in the South Carolina National Guard Armory.  For more information about these museums, click here


Volunteers

Many thanks to our faithful volunteers:  Charlene Brandt, Robert & Linda Akins, Richard and Monika Fullmer, Chaplain (LTC) Harlon Triplett, Retired.   Their contributions with our archives, education program and reference library are immense. 

If you would like to volunteer, contact the museum at (803) 751-8079, 8827.


Mission Statement

To collect, preserve, document and utilize for research, exhibitions and educational programs, historically significant properties relating to the history of the U.S. Army Chaplaincy from its inception in 1775 to the present.  As an educational institution, the museum will support training and education for military and civilian personnel.

As a museum within the U.S. Army Museum System, this mission statement was approved by the U.S. Army Center of Military History in 1993.  Click here to visit


About our Collections

 Selected collections include:

             *John Eaton collection.   Twelve diaries of a Civil War chaplain.

            *W.W.  Meech collection.  Civil War chaplain letters written by a Union chaplain.

            *Charles Irwin collection.  World War I items, including chaplain’s flag, military gear and photographs.

            *Patrick Duffy collection.  Vestments, altar pieces and memorabilia from a famous World War I chaplain.

            *John Rakestraw collection.  1,286 color slides documenting a chaplain’s tour of duty in Vietnam, 1967-1969.

            *Orris Kelly collection.  Uniforms, gear and papers from a former Army Chief of Chaplains.


Recent Donors

  • SSG Jeffried Apodaca – Dress Blues and Whites worn by a chaplain assistant.
     
  •  U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains Office – Oil painting, “Unit Ministry Team“ by Larry Selman.
     
  • Monika Malone – Sermons and journal of World War II Army chaplain, H.O. Malone, Sr.
     
  • Mrs. Karen Reister - Uniforms, chaplain kit, Communion set and papers belonging to CH (MG) Patrick Hessian, former U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains.
     
  • SGM Steven Carter, Retired - Bronze sculpture, “The Unit Ministry Team”.
     
  • Chaplain (CPT) Joshua Gillium – Carillon and tapes from Anderson Chapel, Ft. Jackson, SC.
     
  • Karen Puckett – Homemade Communion kit used by CH (COL) Kermit S. Combs when he served with Patton’s 3rd Army during World War II.

If you would like to make a donation to the Museum, please contact the Museum Director at (803) 751-8079.


Wish List

Items still needed to tell the chaplaincy story:

*Revolutionary War chaplain memorabilia, to include:

  • Clerical garb of any Revolutionary War chaplain.
     

  • Personal belongings or equipment used in conducting services to soldiers.
     

  • Items belonging to Chaplains John Hurt and William Emerson.

*Mexican War chaplain memorabilia, to include:

  • Items belonging to Chaplains Anthony Rey and John McElroy.

*Civil War chaplain memorabilia, to include:

  • Items belonging to Chaplains Henry Turner, Jacob Frankel, John Whitehead, Francis Hall, Milton Haney and Ella Gibson Hobart.
     
  • Trousers, shoes and headgear worn by Union and Confederate chaplains.
     
  • Confederate chaplain uniform.
     
  • Image and material on Unaguskie, Cherokee Confederate chaplain.

*Buffalo Soldier chaplain memorabilia from the 9th and 10th Cavalry, the 24th and 25th Infantry.

*Spanish-American War:

  • Bible, Prayer book, uniform, etc., used by Chaplain Henry A. Brown, Rough Riders chaplain.

*World War I:

  • Any equipment used by chaplains to perform field services.
     
  • Salvation Army chaplain insignia.
     
  • Any teaching materials or items from the Chaplain Schools at Ft. Monroe, VA; Camp Zachary Taylor, KY or the two locations in France.

*Post World War I:

  • Civilian Conservation Uniform

*World War II:

  • U.S. Government issued Jewish chaplain kit.
     
  • Uniform worn by a chaplain assistant.
     
  • POW shirt/uniform worn by the German and Italian POWs that built the Ft. Devens chapel altar furniture.
     
  • Original pew from a cantonment chapel.

*Korean War:

  • Uniform and chaplain kit belonging to Chaplain Emil Kapaun.
  • Chaplain kits belonging to chaplains killed during Korean War.

 *Vietnam War:

  • Chaplain Charles Watters’ Medal of Honor.
     
  • Any Chaplain Assistant relevant material.

*Operation Just Cause (Panama)

  • Any Chaplain/Chaplain Assistant/UMT relevant material.

*Joint Task Force Guantanamo

  • Any Chaplain/Chaplain Assistant/UMT relevant material.

*Joint Task Force Andrew

  • Any Chaplain/Chaplain Assistant/UMT relevant material.

*Operation Restore Hope

  • Any Chaplain/Chaplain Assistant/UMT relevant material.

*Operation Enduring Freedom

  • Any Chaplain/Chaplain Assistant/UMT relevant material.

 *Operation Iraqi Freedom

  • Any Chaplain/Chaplain Assistant/UMT relevant material.

If you would like to make a donation to the Museum, please contact the Museum Director at (803) 751-8079.


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