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Abbeville in Abbeville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Maj. Thomas D. Howie

The Major of St. Lô

 
 
Maj. Thomas D. Howie, the Major of St. Lo Marker - Front image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, July 19, 2008
1. Maj. Thomas D. Howie, the Major of St. Lo Marker - Front
Inscription.  
Birthplace of Thomas Dry Howie (1908–1944), World War II hero famous as “The Major of St. Lô,” Abbeville High School, Class of 1925. The Citadel, Class of 1929, where he was an all-state football player and was president of his class. Coach and teacher, Staunton Military Academy, Staunton Va., 1929-1941. Lt., 116th Inf. Va. National Guard, 1941. Promoted to major; served at regimental H.Q. until July 1944, when he took command of the 3rd Btn. Howie told his men, “I’ll see you in St. Lô” — a major Allied objective in the weeks after D-Day. He was killed July 7, 1944, the day before American troops captured the town. In a tribute from his comrades, Howie’s flag-draped body was carried into St. Lô on the lead jeep and lay in state on the rubble of St. Croix Church. “Dead in France, Deathless in Fame.”
 
Erected 1995 by Abbeville County Historic Society. (Marker Number 1-8.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, World II. In addition, it is included in the South Carolina, Abbeville County Historical Society/Commission series list. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1944.
 
Location.
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34° 10.703′ N, 82° 22.9′ W. Marker is in Abbeville, South Carolina, in Abbeville County. Marker is at the intersection of West Pinckney Street and Church Street, on the right when traveling south on West Pinckney Street. Marker is located in front of the Howie house. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 118 West Pinckney Street, Abbeville SC 29620, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. McGowan-Barksdale-Bundy House (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Last Meeting of the Confederate States Cabinet (about 600 feet away); Trinity Episcopal Church (about 600 feet away); The Old Livery Stable (about 700 feet away); Burt-Stark House / Jefferson Davis’s Flight (about 800 feet away); Major Thomas Dry Howie (approx. 0.2 miles away); Abbeville Square (approx. 0.2 miles away); "Big Bob" (approx. 0.2 miles away); Abbeville County Confederate Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old Bank Building (ca. 1865) (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Abbeville.
 
Regarding Maj. Thomas D. Howie. The story of Maj. Thomas Howie was told in the 1950s television series Cavalcade of America, Season 4, Episode 24. The part of Howie was played by a young Peter Graves. A soldier similar to Howie was also portrayed by Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan.
 
Related marker.
Maj. Thomas D. Howie, the Major of St. Lo Marker - Reverse image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, July 19, 2008
2. Maj. Thomas D. Howie, the Major of St. Lo Marker - Reverse
Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. The Monument in his honor at St. Lo.
 
Also see . . .
1. Thomas D. Howie. Wikipedia entry:
Thomas Dry Howie (April 12, 1908 – July 17, 1944) was an American army officer, killed during the Battle of Normandy during World War II, while trying to capture the French town of Saint-Lô. (Submitted on August 5, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. The Major of St-Lo. YouTube video (7m 31s) (Submitted on November 14, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. St.. Lô: Last Phase of the Battle (15-20 July). American Forces in Action website entry (Submitted on November 14, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

4. Saint-Lô. Wikipedia entry:
Saint-Lô is a commune in northwestern France, the capital of the Manche department in Normandy. (Submitted on December 26, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

5. Staunton Military Academy. Wikipedia entry:
Staunton Military Academy was an all-male military academy located in Staunton, Virginia for much of its 116-year history. (Submitted on August 21, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

6. Staunton Military Academy Alumni Association. Association website homepage (Submitted on March 15, 2009, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 

7. Thomas Dry Howie: A Hero Who Exemplifies Excellence
Maj. Thomas D. Howie<br>1908–1944 image. Click for full size.
The Citadel and the South Carolina Corps of Cadets by William H. Buckley
3. Maj. Thomas D. Howie
1908–1944
. Free Republic website entry:
Address given at the induction of Thomas Dry Howie into the South Carolina Hall of Fame, February 10, 2003. (Submitted on November 14, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional commentary.
1. Incident At Saint Lo
The following poem by war poet Joseph Auslander (1898-1965) appeared in Life Magazine, September 18, 1944:

They rode him in, propped straight and proud and tall
Through St. Lo's gates...He told the lads he led
That they would be the first at St. Lo's fall --
But that was yesterday -- and he was dead:
Some sniper put a bullet through his head,
And he slumped in a meadow near a wall
And there was nothing further to be said;
Nothing to say -- nothing to say at all.

Ride soldier in your dusty jeep,
Grander than Caesar's chariot! O ride
Into the town they took for you to keep,
Dead captain of their glory and their pride!
Ride through our hearts forever, through our tears
More splendid than the hero hedged with spears!
    — Submitted August 30, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. T.V. Howie
Howie's Flag Drapped Coffin on the rubble of St. Croix Church image. Click for full size.
National Archives, 1944
4. Howie's Flag Drapped Coffin on the rubble of St. Croix Church
House

Two-story, frame residence with hip roof and gabled ells. A two-story ell projects from the left end of the facade and has two windows on each story and a diamond-shaped, louvered attic vent on the gable end. A hip roof porch across the remainder of the facade and on the right elevation is supported by chamfered wood posts with necking; a portion of the simple balustrade remains. Windows have two-over lights and louvered shutters. The house has been sheathed in aluminum siding. (Source: National Register nomination form.)
    — Submitted November 14, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

3. Marker Style
The marker shown reflects the second style of South Carolina Historical Markers. It was in use between 1955 and 1990. The original design was cast aluminum and crowned with a bas relief of the state flag surrounded by an inverted triangle. The markers were painted dark blue with silver lettering.
    — Submitted September 16, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
 
The T.V. Howie House (pre-1906) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, July 19, 2008
5. The T.V. Howie House (pre-1906)
Located at 118 West Pinckney Street, Abbeville, SC, the T.V. Howie House is stop 18 on the Abbeville History South Walking Trail; it is also one of the properties included in the Abbeville Historic District (1984 expansion).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 9, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 20, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 5,889 times since then and 117 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 20, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   3. submitted on November 14, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   4. submitted on November 14, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   5. submitted on July 20, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 1, 2023