D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

General Hugh Hester Collection

"General Hugh Hester in Dress Uniform" (M84., General Hugh Hester Collection
D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, UNC Asheville 28804
Title General Hugh Hester Photographic Collection
Creator Hugh Hester 
Alt. Creator Family of Hugh Hester
Identifier http://toto.lib.unca.edu/findingaids/mss/hester_hugh/default_hester_hugh.html
Subject Keyword Hugh Hester ; American Army ; world politics ;
Subject LCSH Hester, Hugh
Generals -- United States -- Photographs
World politics -- 1955-1965
United States -- Foreign relations -- 1953-1961
Date Original 1950s-1984
Date Digital 2001-05-02
Publisher D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804
Contributor Family of Hugh Hester ; Southern Highlands Research Center
Type Collection ; Image ; Text
Format 1 carton, 1 manuscript box
Source M84.1.1.1-2
Language English
Relation The collection of materials listed has been separated from the manuscript holdings of Hugh Hester [M84.1.1.10] and contains photographs of Hester, family members and events from Hester's life. 
Coverage 1941 [?] ; Asheville, NC
Rights No restrictions.
Any display, publication, or public use must credit the D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville.
Copyright retained by the creators of certain items in the collection, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Donor Donor number 124

Hugh Hester was a general in the U.S. military, who, after his retirement, was known for his political activism and thoughtful commentary in the local newspapers. This collection contains photographs donated by his family.

Acquisition 1984-07-12
Citation General Hugh Hester Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804
Processed by Special Collections staff, 1984 and 2001.
Last update 2001-10-10 ; 2007-05-17

Hugh Bryan Hester was born August 5, 1895 in Hester County, North Carolina.  While a child Hester attended school in Stem, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro, North Carolina.  Eventually Hester received a A.B. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1917, after five years of study.  He then enlisted in the army and participated in World War I. 

In the army Hester achieved the rank of Second Lieutenant in the Twelfth Field Artillery of the Second United States Regular Army, and was wounded in action.  In 1918 he was promoted to First Lieutenant and then Captain.  He participated in the 1919 occupation of Germany, and was decorated for valor.

 After the end of the war Hester remained in the Army and during the 1920’s and ‘30’s he served at various military bases.  He was ROTC instructor at the University of Missouri from 1924 to 1928, he supervised Civilian Conservation Corps. In Silver City, New Mexico between 1933 and 1934, and from 1939 to 1942 he served on the General Staff of the War Department in the Quartermaster’s Corps.  While there he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and then Colonel.  During these years he met and married Pauline Hester Green, the marriage taking place in 1935.

Hester was still part of the Army when the Second World War broke out and served as a General Staff and Supply Officer under General McArthur on the Southwest Pacific Theatre.  While in this position Hester worked with the Australian government to get supplies for American forces under the Reverse Land-Lease Program.  Hester was promoted to Brigadier General in 1945 and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

After the war Hester served in Germany from 1945 to 1947 in the Office of United States Military Government.  His position was Chief of the Food and Agricultural Branch, Economic Division, U.S. Zone.  For his work in Germany Hester was elected to the French Legion of Honor.  After his time in Germany, Hester spent approximately a year working as the Military Attaché’ to Australia.  Afterwards he returned to the United States and served at the Army Supply Depot in Philadelphia until 1951, when he retired.

Hester spent the next three years working with the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.  Afterwards he attended the University of North Carolina, George Washington University, and the University of Pennsylvania from 1954 to 1957, not receiving a degree.   At these institutions he generally studied law and international relations.

During his later years in the Army Hester had become concerned about the confrontational nature of American foreign policy.  Living in the beginning of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, Hester began to lecture and write about the need for new foreign policies.  He co-authored the book, On the Brink with Dr. Jerome Davis.

Hester continued his activism for several decades, and he spent the years of the Vietnam War speaking at peace rallies, publishing articles, and writing letters-to-the-editor.  In 1971 he published Twenty-six Disastrous Years , a book that criticized current American foreign policy.  After the end of Vietnam Hester continued to advocate disarmament, weapons control, and world government.

In 1970 Hester and his wife moved to Asheville, North Carolina, where both were active in the community until their death.  Pauline died on January 8, 1981 and Hugh Hester died three years later on November 25, 1983.

Series   Writing
    Publications, Misc.

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