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POST Commander's Post 2 - Survey
The American Legion, J. Thompson Wyatt, Post No. 2 was established in 1919 after World War I, what was thought to be the last war. It’s purpose was to promote patriotism and give Veterans a lobbying voice and a place to meet. The American Legion Petersburg Post No. 2 was named that because it was the second Post established in Virginia, the first being in Richmond.
Petersburg, famous for its defense efforts all throughout its history, was home to a famous National Guard unit, the site of a training camp in WWI and WWII, and with Fort Lee still a part of its environment, was among the first to become interested in a nationwide movement toward forming the veterans organization destined to become “The American Legion.”
The first meeting to organize in Petersburg was held on 3 July 1919. A distinguished member of this group was J. Thompson Wyatt, a prominent lawyer and the Commonwealth’s Attorney for a number of years. He was very instrumental in founding Post 2. He served as Commander from 1919-1920 and 1925-1926. Post 2 was named for Mr. Wyatt after his death, in honor of the many outstanding contributions he made, not only to veterans, but to the community also. Mr. Trotter and Mr. Wyatt were selected as delegates to the Nation caucus, held in St. Louis, 8-10 May 1919, to represent Petersburg.
At the second meeting, held on 20 May 1919, Mr. Trotter explained the results of the National caucus, and outlined Virginia’s plan of organization. Mr. Wyatt read an article from the Richmond Times Dispatch of 18 May, that explained the principles and purposes of the organization. He mentioned the possibilities of The American Legion becoming one of the greatest fraternities in existence, declaring it to be a fearless and nonpartisan organization.