American Legion, PETERSBURG POST NO. 2 — 1924
American Legion, 1924
The second Post in the State of Virginia, hence the name, Petersburg Post No. 2.
The Post was organized in June, 1919, and since that time has had the following commanders and adjutants:
First commander, J. Thompson Wyatt; second commander, Robert A. McKenney ; third commander, Allen C. Perkinson ; fourth commander, Allen C. Perkinson; fifth commander, William A. Smith; sixth commander, Dan S. Hollenga.
First adjutant, Richard D. Gilliam; second adjutant, C. R. Stokes; third adjutant, Ralph Harvey Jones; fourth adjutant, John K. Sheffield; fifth adjutant, John K. Sheffield; sixth adjutant, Andrew J. Askew.
On several occasions during the first year of the organization, the Post was host to soldiers returning from overseas to Camp Lee. General Bundy and a number of his staff officers frequently attended the first meetings of the Post.
The members of Petersburg Post No. 2 took a very active part in the movement changing the old aldermanic form of government to the city manager form of government.
A complete census of all former service men of Petersburg was taken.
On February 22, 1920, a memorial service was held and French certificates were presented to the nearest relatives of Petersburg former service men who died overseas.
In November, 1920, the Post put on a drive for funds for the Salvation Army.
A gold jewel medal, known throughout the United States for its historical, symbolic significance, was presented to Marshal Foch by the citizens of Petersburg, who contributed to the fund.
The headquarters flag pole of the Eightieth Division (trained and quartered at Camp Lee) was purchased by the Post in co-operation with other patriotic organizations, and erected on the campus of the Petersburg High School.
The Post sent two delegates to Madison Square Garden, New York City, to participate in the “All American Meeting” held as a counter meeting to the one conducted by the German Von Mack. But for the two delegates from the Petersburg Post, Virginia would not have been represented at this important meeting.
The Post presented the Petersburg High School with a silk United States flag as a part of the Legion’s Americanization work.
Through the efforts of the Post, Wythe Street has been made a memorial to the Petersburg men who lost their lives in the World War. This memorial is an avenue of trees. At the base of each tree has been erected a concrete marker, with a United States Standard Statuary Bronze Plate bearing the name of a soldier killed in action, the unit to which he belonged, and the date and place of his death.
Every year since its organization the Post has given poppies, free of charge, to all the school children on Memorial Day. The markers on Wythe Street, and the graves in Blandford Cemetery and Poplar Grove National Cemetery also are taken care of each year.
In 1923 the custom of holding Memorial services at Blandford Church on May 30th was originated.
The Post has given financial aid to needed veterans and assisted many disabled in getting compensation and insurance matters straightened out.
A committee of the Post has each year visited the hospitals and families of hospitalized veterans at Christmas, and distributed baskets.
The Post held Memorial services for the late President Woodrow Wilson; these services were pronounced the best ever held in the city.
The Post Cap, as adopted and advertised by National Headquarters, was purchased by every member.
The Post has underwritten the purchase of enough flags to be placed on every trolley pole in the city.