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T. Eston Marchant Papers

Identifier: SCU-SCPC-TEM

The T. Eston Marchant Papers consists of 7.5 linear feet of material dating from 1947 to 2005 with the bulk of the papers covering the years 1978 to 1995. The majority of the collection is the public papers and speeches. The collection is arranged into seven series:

Public Papers are divided into the following subseries: General, Events, Reports, Topical, and Travel. General contains material that relates generally to the office of the Adjutant General, such as the SC Code of Military Justice, weekly reports, conference materials, and press releases. It also contains ‘Memos for Record’ from the Army, notes, routing slips, and correspondence. There are a few letters from officers and enlisted men to Marchant detailing the morale of a company. These letters provide an honest glimpse into the daily life of National Guard participants during the Gulf War, stationed in the US and overseas. On February 23, 1991, Captain John Hjort wrote, “Sir pray that this crazy man [Saddam Hussein] is dealt with swiftly. The saying here is that ‘the path home is thru Baghdad.’”

The Events subseries contains programs and other material from events that Marchant attended or spoke at, such as Veteran’s Day parades, ‘dining outs,’ retirements, and change of command ceremonies, including the ceremony honoring Marchant when he was outgoing Adjutant General in 1995. Reports include the 1983 Annual Review of the Chief of the National Guard, Economic Impact Reports of the SCNG and the Annual Reports of the Adjutant General (1986 to 1987 and 1992 to 1993). The Topical series is by far the largest. Among the most important topics is 1990’s Total Force Policy. The Total Force Policy was a military policy, implemented after the Vietnam War, involving the Army, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve working as a single force. Facilities has information about the building of the new National Guard Center that later was named for Marchant, and also has letters honoring Marchant when the dedication ceremony took place. Emergency Preparedness mostly deals with Hurricane Hugo. There is a draft script of the documentary When Hugo Came-a-Callin’ by Les Carroll. There also is a column from The Times-Picayune talking about the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo and FEMA. Travel files relate to trips Marchant took as Adjutant General and include invitational travel orders, itineraries, a packing list for a NATO trip, regulations about the use of Air National Guard aircraft for travel, official briefing information, and other notes on travel. It also includes a few maps; some postcards of Panmunjom, a village in the Korean Demilitarized Zone; a folder on the Panama Canal; and foreign newspapers.

Personal Papers is divided into the following subseries: General, Biographical Information, Campaigns, Military Records, South Carolinian of the Year Award, and the University of South Carolina. There are also a few items relating to family. A winter, 1994, issue of The Guard Companion highlights Marchant’s wife, Caroline Bristow Marchant.

Campaigns is divided into the following subseries: General, Campaign Material, Correspondence, 1978 Election Results by County, and Other Campaign Material. The General folders contain form letters, information about campaign material, information about billboard signs, radio spots, a radio straw poll, public relations material from Bear, Mallard, Knapp & Pope, Inc. and notes. The majority of it is from Marchant’s 1990 campaign. Campaign Material includes two signs, stickers, postcards, bumper stickers, pamphlets, and letterhead. It is difficult to determine which of Marchant’s four campaigns the material is from. Other Campaign Material is material from others’ campaigns, including Marchant’s 1990 opponent, Tom Hendrix.

Military Records, 1947 to 1996, include performance reviews, documents relating to Marchant’s security clearance, promotions, ribbon citations, and other military documents. South Carolinian of the Year Award General folder contains Marchant’s personal program for the ceremony and undated congratulations. The University of South Carolina General folder includes Little Red Books for football for 1951 and 1952, Bicentennial Campaign material, and other items. Correspondence, 1991 to 1999, consists mostly of letters between Marchant and people in USC’s Athletics office, including Mike McGee and former football coach Brad Scott, and correspondence about the Guardian Society. There are also are a few letters to Marchant about the tribute to him during an October 1994 USC home game. On October 19, 1994, D. Leslie Tindal wrote Marchant, “Dear Eston: With deep respect in my heart and a silent salute on my lips, I witnessed with great pride the tribute to you at the USC-Mississippi State game on Saturday.”

Speeches includes Speeches and Speech Material. The bulk of the dated speeches are from 1989 to 1991. While a few of the speeches are typed, the majority of them are in note form. Many of the speeches are undated. In many cases, Marchant used parts of an older speech inserted into a newer speech, so some of the speeches have different dates on them. It includes clippings with notes or parts underlined and Speech Services releases.

Awards includes certificates and resolutions honoring Marchant. Some of these include Silver Membership for the University of South Carolina’s President’s Council, The Honorable Order of Saint Barbara, and the Palmetto Cross. Marchant received the Palmetto Cross for “exceptionally meritorious service during Operation Hugo, 21 September 1989 to 13 October 1989.”

Clippings are arranged chronologically, 1966 to 1998, with the bulk of the clippings from 1978 and 1990 centered on the elections for Adjutant General.

Audiovisual includes an Audiotape, Photographs, and Negatives. The audiotape, a microcassette, features a recording made by Marchant asking for support in one of his campaigns for re-election as Adjutant General. The Photographs are divided into General and Portraits. The small collection of General photographs include a few photos from Marchant’s early military career, a 50 year USC reunion picture, a picture of Marchant and Strom Thurmond, and Clemson’s 1985 Memorial Cannon Dedication. There is an undated note from Liz Patterson attached to a picture of South Carolina attorneys with her father Olin D. Johnston. Patterson wrote, “I found this picture as we were cleaning out the attic. Recognized a few--but certainly picked you out first.” In the portraits, Marchant is in dress uniform and in BDUs. The Negatives are all from one campaign photo shoot with Marchant in his BDUs.

Vertical File Materials contain information gathered by SCPC relating to Marchant and may duplicate information already present in the collection.


  • 1947 - 2005



Copyright of the T. Eston Marchant Papers has been transferred to the University of South Carolina.


Library Use Only


7.5 Linear Feet


T. Eston Marchant served as the Adjutant General of South Carolina from 1979 to 1995. His career in the military spanned almost fifty years. He also was an attorney and active in his community. Marchant served on the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina from 1965 to 1978. In 1990, he was named South Carolinian of the Year.

Biographical Note

“Eston Marchant is truly a legend in his own time. His name is not only vitally linked to the excellence that characterizes the South Carolina National Guard, but he is a recognized symbol of the Guard throughout America.” So wrote Congressman Floyd D. Spence in a letter of November 17, 1989 to Colonel D. Edward Baxley, Chief of Staff, Office of the Adjutant General.

Trelawney Eston Marchant was born December 9, 1920, in Columbia, South Carolina. He graduated from Columbia High School and went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina in 1942.

In 1942, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and was commissioned a second lieutenant. In the Pacific Theater during WWII, Marchant participated in the Bougainville, New Georgia, Guam, and Iwo Jima campaigns and attained the rank of captain. After the war, Marchant received his law degree from the University of South Carolina. He practiced law for thirty years in Columbia with the firm Marchant, Bristow and Bates before becoming Adjutant General of South Carolina.. In 1947, Marchant was commissioned in the South Carolina Army National Guard as a Second Lieutenant, Infantry. He was later moved to Division Staff and was promoted many times. In 1951, he married Caroline Bristow. They had four children: T. Eston Marchant, III, W. Bristow Marchant, Caroline M. Borucki, and Nancy M. Harris. In 1961, he was promoted to the position of Lieutenant Colonel and assigned as a Division Provost Marshall. In 1968, he was promoted to Colonel and also became Commandant of the Palmetto Military Academy, the SCNG’s Officer Candidate School. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in 1973.

In 1978, Marchant was elected to his first term as Adjutant General of South Carolina. He took office officially on January 10, 1979 and in May, was promoted to Major General. He was elected to three more terms in 1982, 1986 and 1990. He retired in 1995 after serving almost fifty years in the National Guard.

Marchant was always active in his community. He served on the Executive Council of the National Guard Association of the United States. He was president of the Adjutant General Association of the United States, the National Guard Association of South Carolina, and the USC Alumni Association. Marchant served as a trustee of the University of South Carolina from 1965 to 1978. He served as chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1970 to 1978. He was also vice president of USC’s Educational Foundation for a time. In a March 8, 1994 letter to USC athletics director Mike McGee, Marchant referred to USC as “my Carolina.” His strong feeling for the University is evident in the active role he took in the advancement of USC.

Some of the awards Marchant received over the course of his career include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Governor’s Unit Citation, the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara, the Palmetto Cross for his service during Operation Hugo, and the Sovereign Order of Saint Stanislas. He was awarded the Order of the Palmetto twice — once from Gov. John West and a second time from Gov. Carroll Campbell. In 1990, Marchant was named South Carolinian of the Year.

The program for the dedication ceremony of the National Guard Center honoring Major General Marchant on November 17, 1989 states, “General Marchant’s career is in keeping with the highest traditions of the citizen-soldier and patriot.”

Marchant passed away on July 19, 2006.


Donated by General T. Eston Marchant.

Processing Information

Processed by S. Kristi Castro, 2006.

Repository Details

Part of the South Carolina Political Collections Repository

Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library
1322 Greene St.
University of South Carolina
Columbia SC 29208 USA

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