Fort Oglethorpe Historic District - Ft Oglethorpe, GA
N 34° 56.589 W 085° 15.628
16S E 658853 N 3868120
Quick Description: A virtual ghost military town, a lot of history in the region blends with this town well.
Location: Georgia, United States
Date Posted: 7/18/2009 5:56:44 PM
Waymark Code: WM6TH1
In 1946, after the end of World War II, the War Department determined that the army facility known as Fort Oglethorpe had become surplus property and instructed the War Assets Administration to sell the land and structures to the public. With a vision for the future, local residents applied to the state of Georgia for incorporation. In 1949, the city of Fort Oglethorpe was established, the first city to be formed in Georgia in 25 years. The city is located just north of the Chickamauga National Military Park, site of the Battle of Chickamauga, September 19-20, 1863, the bloodiest two-day battle of the Civil War.
In 1902, 810 acres were secured just north of the Military Park and construction was begun on Chickamauga Park (North Post). It included officers’ quarters, barracks and stables, parade grounds, hospital and support buildings. The architecture reflected the Classical Renaissance Revival style featured at the Columbia Exposition of 1892 and is best expressed in the officers’ quarters on Barnhardt Circle. President Theodore Roosevelt visited the cavalry post in 1903 while it was under construction.
The post was dedicated December 27, 1904 and named “Fort Oglethorpe” for the founder of the Georgia colony, James Oglethorpe. It was used as camp of instruction and maneuvers for regular army and national guard troops in 1906, 1908 and 1910.
John J. Pershing
Theodor Horydczak, photographer
Library of Congress
It served as the home of the 3rd, 7th, 10, 11th and 12th Cavalry prior to World War I. During world War I, Fort Oglethorpe became the site of three camps which extended onto battlefield land to the south of the post. Wooden barracks were erected among the monuments honoring Union and Confederate units from the Civil War and trench and war games were conducted there. A young John J. Pershing served here for a short time and First Lieutenant Dwight David Eisenhower served nearly three months in late 1917 as an instructor in trench warfare. The medial and sanitary corps were located at Camp Greenleaf where horse-drawn ambulances were trained, a crash training program for officers was conducted at Camp McLean and infantry and engineers were trained at Camp Nathan B. Forrest. The War Department designated Fort Oglethorpe was one of three camps to house German prisoners of war and “enemy aliens”, Germans living in the United States. Among those detained at the Post were members of three German merchantmen crews, spies and diplomats. When the War ended, most of the 1,600 temporary buildings constructed on the Battlefield were removed. Among the troops demobilized through the Post was Sergeant Alvin York from neighboring Pall Mall, Tennessee.