The Georgia General Assembly designated U.S. Highway 78 from Monroe to Athens, through Walton, Oconee and Clarke counties as the “Moina Michael Highway” in honor of the originator of wearing the memorial poppy for Veterans Day. Michael was born near Monroe and was a faculty member at the University of Georgia.
The Georgia Department of Transportation has planted beds of memorial poppies along the median of the highway to bloom in the springs of 2017 and 2018 as part of the observance of Georgia’s role in World War I.
Opened in 1904, Fort Oglethorpe was an Army post for cavalry training in World War I, and also housed some 4,000 German prisoners of war and civilian detainees. During World War I and World War II, it became a war-time induction and processing center. During World War II, it was a major training center for the Women’s Army Corps. After its closure in 1946, the fort became the nucleus of the current town of Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia.
In 1786, the Georgia Legislature approved the creation of a fort on Cockspur or Tybee Island, to be named in honor of Revolutionary War hero General James Screven. The fort was never built by the state, but in 1808 the property fell under the jurisdiction of the Federal government as the Fort Screven Reservation.
In 1855, the government approved building Fort Screven on the north end of Tybee to provide modern coastal defense. Six poured-concrete, low-profile gun batteries (named for war heroes) and a minefield were ordered for Tybee along with hundreds of other military buildings. From 1897 to 1947 the fort was an integral part of America’s Coastal Defense system. Troops stood guard on Tybee through the Spanish American War of 1898, World War I and World War II. The Fort was closed in 1947 and sold to the City of Tybee and tourism returned as a major part of Tybee’s history. By the 1950s many of the fort’s buildings had been converted for use by private owners.
In 1961, Battery Garland, the former gun battery and magazine for a 12-inch long-range gun, became the Tybee Island museum. A room that once stored six hundred pound projectiles and two hundred pound bags of gun powder, now holds the collections and exhibits of more than 400 years of Tybee Island history. It is the location of the only shot fired in anger in Georgia during World War I.
Today, the abandoned and silent concrete bunkers stand side-by-side with fine beachside homes. Visitors marvel at the private residences nestled atop the fort’s walls, the magnificent ocean and river views and the fort that played a role in so many phases of American history.
Relocated in 1827-28 from an earlier site along the Savannah River, the Augusta Arsenal served as a military armament supply and training center for the U.S. military, and briefly for the Confederate armies, until its closure in the mid-1950s. During World War I, the Arsenal became a center for the repair of small arms and rifles. After 1918, only a small force was stationed at the Arsenal. After closure, it first was transferred to the Richmond County Board of Education, but later became the site of Augusta State College, which today is part of Augusta University. The old Arsenal buildings remain in place as administration buildings for the campus. A museum is in the former guardhouse of the Arsenal, at Walton Way and Katherine Street, Augusta. An official state historical marker is at the site.
Camp Hancock existed only from 1917-1919. It was 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. The site contained some 1,777 acres on a reservation of 13,811. The camp was to have a capacity of about 50,000 officers and enlisted men that would become the 28th U.S. Infantry Division. Formed originally in August 1917 from Pennsylvania National Guard units, the Division began departing for France in April 1918. The 28th distinguished itself in combat, fighting sometimes hand to hand. The 28th suffered heavy casualties, including 2,531 killed, 13,746 wounded and 726 captured. At the end of the war the camp became a demobilization center until it was abandoned in March 1919. No signs of the camp remain at the site along Wrightsboro Road across from the Forest Hills Golf Course.
Established July 1917, Camp Gordon was constructed as one of sixteen National Army Training Camps prepared for U.S. entry into World War I. The camp was built on 2,400 acres and came to have 1,600 buildings with a capacity of 47,000 troops and an eventual cost of $ 11,900,000. Camp Gordon served as the training camp for the 82nd Infantry Division, organized in August 1917, which began deployment to Europe in April 1918. While in Europe the 82nd had 8,300 casualties. Camp Gordon was ordered abandoned in 1920 and disposed of in September 1921, and is now the site of Peachtree-DeKalb Airport. A state marker is on a small plaza at the airport.
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.