The descendants of Doctor Chandler Rainwater, a 1913 graduate of Reinhardt College, have donated his Reinhardt student uniform to the College. It is on display on the first floor of the library, along with his diploma. "It's a unique piece of history that brings to light a long-ago phase of Reinhardt tradition," said Amy McGee, Reinhardt serials assistant.
At the Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center, Reinhardt students are seen modeling all kinds of fashions, from the immaculately groomed and stylish to the I-was-up-all-night-and-now-I-just-have-to-print-this-paper-before-class look. It's hard to imagine a time when Reinhardt students dressed in gray cadet uniforms and practiced military drills on campus.
Now, thanks to a donation from the Rainwater family, you can get a glimpse into the life of a Reinhardt student from nearly a century ago. The descendants of Doctor Chandler Rainwater, a 1913 graduate of Reinhardt College, have donated his Reinhardt student uniform to the College. It is on display on the first floor of the library, along with Rainwater's diploma.
"It's a unique piece of history that brings to light a long-ago phase of Reinhardt tradition," said Amy McGee, Reinhardt serials assistant.
History of College's Military Uniforms
According to Technical Services Librarian Joel Langford, military companies were first established at Reinhardt in 1893. "In 1897, military training was made compulsory for all able-bodied male students except for those preparing for the ministry," said Langford. "The students were encouraged, but not required, to wear the College's uniform of ‘best Confederate grey with navy blue cap.'
A highlight of spring at Reinhardt was the "sham battles" staged by the companies. The battles took place on a field or in a pasture on a nearby hill. One company would hold a fort on the top of the hill while the other two companies attacked. Blanks, firecrackers and even dynamite was used for realism. Occasionally, female students would dress as nurses to aid the wounded.
Starting in 1905, female Reinhardt students were required to wear a uniform of "white waist, blue skirt and Oxford cap [mortarboard with tassel]." In 1908, the cadet uniform was made compulsory for male students. Soon after World War I when the United States entered a period of isolationism, the military department was discontinued.
Fashion on Display
Visitors are encouraged to stop by and check out this display of historical college-fashion. For more information, please contact Amy McGee, serials assistant, at 770-720-9120 or AMM@reinhardt.edu. You can also find more fun and interesting information about the Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center at http://reinhardtlibrary.blogspot.com
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