116th Infantry Regiment Museum

From hunting shirt and tricorn hat to combat jacket and camouflage helmet, artifacts and memorabilia displayed at the Virginia National Guard's 116th Infantry Regiment Museum trace the history of the unit's service to a community and a nation.

Visitors to the museum at the Thomas D. Howie Memorial Armory, located in Staunton's Gypsy Hill Park, can follow the campaigns of the 116th Regiment through all the major conflicts in our nation's history. Descended from the Augusta County Regiment Militia, which was organized in 1742 to defend settlers against the Indians, the unit has a distinguished lineage.

colonial uniform Donning Continential blue and white during the American Revolution, militia members marched with George Washington into the face of British musket fire, then stood at attention during the British surrender at Yorktown. During the War of 1812, the regiment returned to the front when British troops landed and marched into Maryland.

At the sleepy little town of Manassas in June 1861, a brigade made up of the 2nd, 4th, 5th (which included men from Staunton), 27th and 33rd Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiments held firm against onrushing waves of Federal troops. Under the command of an eccentric professor from the Virginia Military Institute named Thomas Jackson, this determined stand swung the tide of battle in favor of the South, and won for the General and his Brigade the name of "Stonewall." Since then that name has officially remained with the regiment and is recognized worldwide.

The 116th Infantry Regiment landed in the first wave at Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Selected for this critical mission by being one the best trained units in the Army, the 116th showed the same bravery as they had at Manassas. Although under intense fire and landing in rough surf, these modern Stonewallers again turned the tide of battle. Through a dogged determination, they drove back the Germans, cracked Hitler's Atlantic Wall and began the long drive to Berlin.

MapA German flag, emblazoned with a swastika, was captured from a German headquarters, then signed by members of the platoon and brouhgt back to America, where it has been displayed in the museum. Visitors may also see two rocks from the shingle at Omaha Beach, as well as the original invasion map. Memorabilia also honors the regiment's World War Two hero, Major Thomas D. Howie, who was killed while his battalion was liberating St. Lo, a small town in the province of Normandy, France.

Boots PicToday, veterans of that fight still live in Staunton and gather each year at the regimental muster to honor their fallen comrades and raise a toast to the citizen-soldiers of our communities.

Museum admission is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday while the units are in the building. On evenings and weekends, groups of more than 10 are admitted by appointment.

Please call ahead to insure that your visit does not conflict with operational requirements.  (540) 332-7735

Regiment Pages
Regiment, Lineage, Links, Medal of Honor, Muster, Golf, News, Race, Site Map

1st Brigade 29 ID (L) Pages
Brigade, History,

116th Inf. Regt. Foundation Pages
Foundation, Board, Calendar, Donations, Library, Officers,

Courtesy of the 116th Infantry Regiment Foundation, Inc.
Last Updated November 13, 2001
Copyright 2001