Camp Wheeler (2)

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Camp Wheeler (2) (1917-1919, 1940-1945) - A U.S. Army World War I National Guard Mobilization and Training Camp first established in 1917 near Macon, Bibb County, Georgia. Named Camp Wheeler in G.O. 95, 18 Jul 1917, after Lieutenant General Joseph Wheeler (Cullum 1843), Confederate General during the U.S. Civil War and later a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army during the Spanish American War. Abandoned in 1919. Reactivated in 1940 for World War II and deactivated in 1945.

Camp Wheeler 124th Infantry circa 1917
Camp Wheeler 118th Machine Gun Battalion 7 Feb 1918

World War I (1917-1918)

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 was established in July 1917 under the supervision of construction quartermaster Major Walter Hernwood on a site of about 21,480 acres. The camp was to have a capacity of about 43,000 officers and enlisted men that would become the 31st U.S. Infantry Division. The camp was completed in 1917 at an eventual cost of $ 3,900,000.

The first commander of the camp was Major General Francis J. Kernan (Cullum 2896) who formed the 31st U.S. Infantry Division and initiated troop training. The 31st arrived in October 1917 and departed for France on 1918-10-21. The 31st returned to the U.S. and was demobilized in Dec 1918. When the 31st arrived in France it was skeletonized and and its members were dispersed as replacements for other units leaving only a token number of troops in the 31st. The 31st did not see combat as a unit.

At the end of the war the camp became a demobilization center until it was abandoned in April 1919.

World War II (1941-1945)

Camp Wheeler was reactivated in 1940 on 14,394 acres of the original site and was used as a training camp and prisoner of war camp until 1945. Colonel A. R. Emery was the first camp commander. A 1,000 bed hospital was constructed for returning wounded soldiers.

After the war the camp was abandoned as surplus property on 19 Jan 1946. The leased land returned to its owners.

Current Status

Marker only near Macon, Bibb County, Georgia.


Location: Joe Tamplin Industrial Blvd at Riggins Mill Rd, Bibb County, Georgia. Map point is marker location.

Maps & Images

Lat: 32.811583 Long: -83.541633

Sources:

  • Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 239
  • Ayres, Leonard Porter, The War with Germany: A Statistical Summary, U.S. War Department, 2nd Ed, 1919, 147 pages
  • Rinaldi, Richard A., The US Army in World War I - Orders of Battle, Tiger Lily Publications LLC, 2004, 244 pages
  • Brief Histories of Divisions, U.S. Army: 1917-1918, U.S.A. General Staff, June 1921, 92 pages
  • Morden, Lt. Colonel Earle B., The Work of the Construction Division of the United States Army from Coast to Coast, 1917-1919, The Journal of the Engineers' Club of Philadelphia, Vol XXXVII-3, March 1920, No. 184, (Google Books)

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