Summerall's memoir honored for contribution to Army history
“The Way of Duty, Honor, Country,” a memoir by former Citadel President Gen. Charles P. Summerall, has been recognized by the Army Historical Foundation as an outstanding contribution to U.S. Army history.
“The Way of Duty, Honor, Country,” was honored at the foundation’s 14th annual members meeting in Fort Belvoir, Va., in June. Finalists were judged by an awards committee of distinguished military historians and writers against a set of criteria, including significance to U.S. Army History, historical accuracy, and quality of writing.
Chosen for the award in the category of Journals, Memoirs and Letters, “The Way of Duty, Honor, Country” tells the story of a celebrated soldier who witnessed profound technological, military, and social advances during his lifetime. The memoir was originally composed by Summerall when, at age 83, he wrote down a detailed account of his life on a yellow legal pad, recounting his childhood in the poor rural South of the post–Civil War era and his schooling at West Point. Summerall goes on to relate his impressive military career from his rise through the ranks of the U.S. Army and his service during World War I to his appointment as Chief of Staff of the United States Army and a two-decade-long tenure as president of The Citadel where he doubled enrollment, balanced the budget, expanded the campus and established the first civil engineering program in the state of South Carolina.
Historian Timothy K. Nenninger edited and annotated the original manuscript, adding comprehensively researched footnotes and creating an accessible autobiography of a military leader and educator whose life spanned some of the most profound changes in the history of the U.S. military.
The Army Historical Foundation is a member-based nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of the American soldier. Established in 1983, the foundation funds projects such as educational programs, research, publication of relevant historical materials, and the acquisition and preservation of Army artifacts.
Summerall died in Washington D.C. in 1955. He rests at Arlington National Cemetery along with his wife Laura Summerall, and son Col. Charles Pelot Summerall Jr.