By Susan Middaugh for The Island Eye News
Battery Gadsden Cultural Center is delighted to announce the opening event of our Speaker Series. Mary Hatcher and Jean Hutchinson tell engaging stories from the lives of women at Fort Moultrie in “Military Life/Military Wife.” Plan to attend what promises to be an exceptionally interesting presentation on Thursday, Sept. 8 from 6-7 p.m. at the Stella Maris Parish Hall, 1204 Middle St., Sullivan’s Island. Over 171 years, from 1776 to 1947, the history of Fort Moultrie has centered on military men. Now, Mary Hatcher and Jean Hutchinson reveal a captivating parallel history through the stories of the women of Fort Moultrie: the military wives and families and women who served in the WWII Women’s Army Corps “WACs.” These stories, gleaned from extensive research, employ the words of the women themselves from diaries, journals, and letters to family and friends.
Adjusting to the constraints of military life could be difficult, salaries were meager and, depending on the era, housing could range from tents to officer’s quarters. At the same time, service at Fort Moultrie – though it could be hazardous – was softened by proximity to the city of Charleston.
The words of these women are paired with many images of daily life across the time span of Fort Moultrie to tell truly captivating stories.
Mary Hatcher, with a degree in U.S. History, has worked for the National Park Service in living history interpretation and as a staff historian. Jean Hutchinson, with an art degree, has specialized in the daily lives and clothing of women in the 18th and 19th centuries. Both share their expertise with local and national organizations.
This event is free and open to the public.