Historic Groups

German Friendly Society

The German Friendly Society was founded in 1766 by Michael Kalteisen and 15 other men, all members of the St. John’s congregation, as a men’s fraternal organization. Its original purpose was to assist new immigrants and to give aid to the widows and orphans.

Washington Light Infantry

“A Volunteer Corps of Citizen Soldiers Serving City, State, and Nation”

The Washington Light Infantry (WLI), organized in 1807, is one of the nation’s oldest militia units. Anticipating a second war with Britain, the citizens of Charleston planned for a number of volunteer corps, one of which was the Washington Light Infantry. It alone survives. The Corps was named in honor of George Washington. Annually, on his birthday, February 22, a military banquet is observed by the Corps. Since 1807, the Washington Light Infantry has participated as a unit exhibiting honor and bravery in every major war this country has fought.