“Believe me, I’ll never forget Blaney,” a young soldier with a red, white and blue hat cord was overheard to remark. “And why, pray, will you always remember Blaney?” asked the one who heard him.
And this is why the men of the training camp will always have a soft spot in their heart for the little town which nestles in the sand hills between Columbia and Camden.
Last week the training camp hiked from Camp Jackson to Camden, and after staying there a few days, prepared to hike back to Camp Jackson again. The day they left Camden was Monday, and everybody knows what a record breaking rain this part of the country had and as the men were fully equipped with their packs, and paraphernalia of the march, it can be easily imagined that the trip home wasn’t the most pleasant part of the outing.
It happened that their course led them through Blaney, and it also happened that the supply wagons passed through Blaney about twenty minutes before the men. And thereby hangs a tale. The people of Blaney had no ideal the men were coming through until the supply wagons arrived and told them, so immediate preparations were made toward furnishing some kind of refreshments for the travelers. Imagine preparing for several hundred men in twenty minutes. It seems like a fairy tale, but that is exactly what the patriotic citizens of Blaney did. When the men arrived, they found gallons of hot steaming coffee and countless cakes and crackers all spread out waiting to be served them. Everybody in town had contributed something and there was plenty to go around.
To quote one of the soldiers: “I was about the four hundredth man and I just knew the coffee would be out before it reached me, but there seemed to be an inexhaustible supply, and not only did everybody have a cup but lots of fellows had several.”
Now, do you blame them for remembering Blaney?