One of sixteen U.S. Army National Guard Mobilization and Training Camps established in 1917 to train and integrate National Guard units for service in a U.S. Army division, Camp Wheeler occupied a site of some 21,480 acres along what today is Riggins Mill Road at Joe Tamplin Industrial Boulevard in Macon. The camp was to have a capacity of about 43,000 officers and enlisted men that would become the 31st U.S. Infantry Division. Formed in October 1917, the 31st departed for France in October 1918, returned to the U.S. and was demobilized in December 1918. When the 31st arrived in France its members were dispersed as replacements for other units, and thus did not see combat as a unit. At the end of the war, Camp Wheeler became a demobilization center until it was abandoned in April 1919. Reactivated in 1940 on the original site, it was used through World War II as a training camp and prisoner of war camp until 1945. A 1,000 bed hospital was constructed for returning wounded soldiers. The camp was abandoned as surplus property in January 1946 and the leased land returned to its owners. Today only a historical marker denotes the site.
Camp Greenleaf was a medical officer training camp created at Chickamauga National Battlefield Park as part of Fort Oglethorpe during World War I, under a program that utilized national park and battlefield land for military training installations. Camp Greenleaf was authorized in May 1917 and began training the next month to prepare medical officers for work with motor field units, mule-drawn units, evacuation hospitals and base hospitals, additionally including veterinary and dental training. In only 18 months of operation, being decommissioned in December 1918, Camp Greenleaf trained 6,640 officers and 31,138 enlisted men.
Camp Forrest of World War I should not be confused with the much larger Camp Forrest of World War II, which was located northwest of Chattanooga near Tullahoma, Tennessee. During World War I, Camp Forrest was co-located with Camp Greenleaf and Camp McLean at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. Its wooden barracks were erected among the monuments honoring Union and Confederate dead in the Battle of Chickamauga. Its primary purpose was to train infantry engineers. It was as short-lived as its colleague camps, and was decommissioned in December 1918.
Camp Jesup was built next to Fort McPherson during World War I, constructed by local civilians and German prisoners of war to serve as a major center for repairing, overhauling, and reconstructing vehicles, and as a storage area for transport supplies. Jesup's facilities included living quarters, mess halls, and administrative buildings. During the peak of war activity, nearly 4,000 civilian and 2,100 military personnel were employed at the camp. Jesup remained active after the war as a motor transport school, a general depot, and a quartermaster intermediate storage depot. Camp Jesup was deactivated on August 23, 1927.
Building on the rapid development of aviation during World War I, the U.S. Army in 1918 constructed Souther Field as a primary flight-training facility. It was built just northeast of Americus in a former peach orchard purchased by Sumter County and deeded to the federal government. At the height of its World War I activities, Souther had 147 planes and about 1,500 service personnel. Deactivated following World War I in April 1923, its planes were sold off to the highest bidders. Charles Lindbergh bought his first airplane as part of that auction, stayed for flight training, and completed his first solo flight at Souther within three weeks of his purchase. A seven-foot statue of Lindbergh is displayed at the site. Souther was reactivated during World War II to train aviation cadets of the U.S. Army Air Force and the British Royal Air Force. Today, Souther Field has become the Jimmy Carter Regional Airport, and some of the original buildings still stand as part of South Georgia Technical College. A state historical marker at the site recounts Lindbergh’s first solo flight.
Fort Benning, today home to the U.S. Army Infantry, began in 1917 as Camp Benning. Now the world’s premier school of arms, it has trained many of the infantry who fought in America’s wars, including noted generals such as Omar Bradley, George Marshall, Dwight D. Eisenhower, George Patton and Colin Powell. At the outbreak of World War I, as the nation faced inadequate infantry training facilities, a board chose Columbus, Georgia, for a new, larger infantry school based on its climate, terrain and transportation. The first camp was established in fall 1918, and named (at the request of the Columbus Rotary Club) for Confederate brigadier general Henry L. Benning, who lived in Columbus until his death in 1875. Troops began arriving in October 1918, and the camp was made permanent and the name changed to Fort Benning in 1922.
Through exhibits on the President’s life and times -including The Great War (World War I), The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library educates our visitors on how President Wilson changed the world and how his ideals continue to do so.
Contact: Heather Sutton, Education Coordinator, [email protected]; 540-885-0897 x 114.
Camp Warden McLean was yet a third camp at the Fort Oglethorpe site, being dedicated to reserve officers training. With a barracks capacity of 1,500, its facilities ceased to be used for that purpose at it was turned over to Camp Greenleaf in November 1917 to house motor field units.
There is an admission charge to go on board and tour the ship. However, you can see the ship without charge from the Penn's Landing walkway along the river, reached via the public streets and sidewalks. You can reach the Olympia at Penn's Landing via Columbus Blvd. or the Spruce St. or Dock St. walkways.
Independence Seaport Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum will be CLOSED every Monday from January 9 - March 2017 with the exception of holidays.
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day the Historic Ships will be open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
The Museum is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
See the museum's web site for further details.
Headquartered in Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is the state’s official history agency and administers The State Museum of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State Archives, the State Historic Preservation Office, and numerous historic sites and museums across the commonwealth including Boalsburg’s Pennsylvania Military Museum and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania at Strasburg. Watch phmc.pa.gov for upcoming special programs, exhibits, and projects commemorating Pennsylvania’s involvement in World War I. The Pennsylvania State Archives, in particular, holds many collections documenting the war years and is currently partnering with Ancestry.com and the State Library of Pennsylvania to provide on-line access to number of these valuable records. For example, check out http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=60884 to examine Pennsylvania’s World War I Veterans Service and Compensation files. Coming soon: Digital access to over 200 stunning World War I posters from the State Archives’ collections via the State Library and the PA Power Library site.
See State Museum of Pennsylvania website for schedules and prices.
Discounted rates for group tours by reservation.
See Pennsylvania State Archives website for schedule and fees
801 North 3rd Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102
Buried at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery are 2,289 soldiers from the Great War of whom most were killed in the area and in the Marne Valley during battles in the summer of 1918. Of these, there are 249 Graves to the Unknown and 1,060 names inscribed on the Walls of the Missing.
The Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery holds the greatest amount of military dead in Europe - 14,246 - the majority of whom lost their lives during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of World War I. Within these are 486 Graves to the Unknown. Inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing are 954 names. These include those from the U.S. expedition to northern Russia in 1918-1919.