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Charlottesville, Virginia

The Charlottesville and Albemarle Post No.74 of the American Legion, Department of Virginia, was established at Charlottesville early in the autumn of 1919. The loss of the minute hook for the first several years renders the date unavailable.

The first meeting was held at the courthouse shortly before the Roanoke State Convention. At this meeting an organization was effected, Major John S. Graves being elected commander of the Post and C. F. Cassell adjutant. Delegates were sent by this meeting to the Roanoke convention.

The first several meetings of the Post were held at the courthouse, but before the end of 1919 the Charlottesville Lodge of the B. P.O. F. invited the Post to hold its meetings at the Elks’ Hall. This invitation was very gratefully accepted by the Post and meetings were held at the Elks’ for more than four years-until in the winter of 1924 the Post rented rooms of its own. The Post has also received much other aid from the B. P.O. F. and will ever retain a deep sense of obligation and gratitude towards that organization.

The officers elected in the fall of 1919 served throughout 1920 and at the conclusion of that year Adjutant Cassell became commander of the Post and W. F. Duke was elected adjutant. In the winter of 1922 R. H. Perry was elected commander of the Post and T. J. Michie, Jr., became adjutant. These officers were re-elected for 1923. The officers for 1924 are: T. J. Michie, Jr. ,. commander; W. S. Hildreth, vice-commander; J. W. Campbell, adjutant; R. F. Lee, finance officer; A. P. Walker, service officer; J. F. Harlan, historian; R. M. Warwick, sergeant-at-arms. The executive committee consists of the officers and J. C. Brooks, R. H. Perry, T. P. Peyton and F. F. Roberts.

The most notable event in the history of the Post was the holding of the 1922 State convention of the Legion in Charlottesville. Through the efforts of the delegates to the Norfolk convention in 1921, backed by the Chamber of Commerce and other civic organizations, the convention was brought to Charlottesville. The entire community cooperated with the Post in making the convention a success, and the interest awakened in the Post proved of great assistance in securing members and in the general work of the Legion. Among the notable events of the convention were the trip to Monticello together with the placing of a wreath upon Jefferson’s grave by General LeJeune, the dances given at Cabell Hall by the young ladies of the Mississippi State College, the ball at Jefferson Park, and the final barbecue.

The Post takes a certain pride in its attitude on the much debated bonus question. Early in the discussion the Post adopted a resolution to the effect that whatever the merits of the question might be, the American Legion should refrain from any agitation on the subject, for or against. Consistently with this resolution members of the Post have always fought endorsment of the bonus by the State conventions.

Perhaps the greatest service of the Post to the community was rendered in the spring of 1923 when it reorganized the Monticello Guards. That historic organization had for various reasons fallen upon evil days and was upon the point of dissolution. The officers came to the Legion, tendering their resignations and requesting the Legion to take charge of the company. A committee was appointed by the Legion, mass meetings of citizens were held, new officers, were elected, and a very excellent personnel was enlisted with the result that the Charlottesville Company was regarded as one of the very best companies to take part in the summer encampment of the National Guard of Virginia in 1923, and as having perhaps the highest average personnel of any of the companies.

The year 1924 has been made memorable by the acquisition by the Post of a suite of rooms on the third floor of the Lafayette Theatre building on Main Street. There is a capacious meeting room, a large reading and lounge room, and a somewhat smaller billiard room. The rooms have been well equipped, with the help of the Auxiliary, and are proving a great incentive to membership. During this year the Post has also adopted the plan of holding meetings twice a month.

No sketch of the Charlottesville Post would be complete without mentioning its two prineipal social functions-the annual military ball held in the spring and invariably one of the most successful social functions of the year, and the annual armistice night supper, on which occasion friends of the Post are invited and speakers of distinction are usually heard.