Dozier was one of six of its members to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for “Conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty” in action near Montbrehain, France, October 8, 1918.
Soldier, Medal of Honor recipient. Dozier was born on February 17, 1885, in Galivants Ferry, the son of James Henry Dozier and Julie Marie Best. He moved with his family to Rock Hill and later enrolled at Wofford College in Spartanburg. Dozier began his military career at age nineteen, when he enlisted in the First Infantry Regiment at Rock Hill, which the federal government mobilized into service in 1916 and sent to the Mexican border. By 1917 Dozier had been promoted to first lieutenant and his unit redesignated as the 118th Infantry, Thirtieth Division. During World War I this unit became the U.S. Army’s most decorated division. Dozier was one of six of its members to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for “Conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty” in action near Montbrehain, France, October 8, 1918. In command of two platoons, Dozier was painfully wounded in the shoulder but continued to lead his men. When his command was held up by heavy machine gun fire, he deployed his men in the best cover available and with another soldier continued forward to attack a machine gun nest, killing the entire crew and later capturing Germans who had taken refuge in a nearby dugout.
Following World War I, Dozier wed Tallulah Little of Laurens on June 10, 1920, settled in Columbia, and continued his service in the military by reorganizing Company I of the 118th Infantry. Following the death in office of Adjutant General Robert E. Craig, Dozier–then a major–was appointed to fill the unexpired term on January 22, 1926. Promoted to the rank of brigadier general, Dozier took command of the South Carolina National Guard, which consisted of more than two thousand officers and men. In addition, he was asked by the War Department to take over custody of Camp Jackson, which he maintained as a training site for National Guard and Reserve units until the beginning of World War II. He was elected adjutant general by the people of South Carolina in 1926 and remained in office until retiring in 1959.
During the thirty-three years that Dozier served as adjutant general, the South Carolina National Guard grew to more than ten thousand officers and enlisted men, scores of new armories and facilities were built, Congaree Air Base (now McEntire Air National Guard Station) was acquired, and a new state headquarters was constructed. Under his leadership, the South Carolina National Guard evolved from a small, low-visibility institution–to which an individual was invited to join–to a modern fighting force of citizen soldiers ready to respond to state or national emergencies.
Dozier died on October 24, 1974, at his home in Columbia and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery. Both Fort Jackson and the S.C. National Guard have named buildings in his honor.
“Former Adjutant General Dozier Dies at Age 89.” Columbia State, October 25, 1974, pp. A1, A13.
Hunter, Jim. “Columbia Man Reflects on Act Which Led to Medal of Honor.” Columbia State, October 11, 1962, p. B15.
United States. Department of the Army. Public Information Division. The Medal of Honor of the United States Army. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1948.