Camp Wheeler was an army training camp during 1917-19 and 1940-46. It was named for Joseph Wheeler (1836-1906), Confederate Lt. Gen. who was born in Augusta, Ga.
The tent camp was established in 1917 after efforts of local businessmen brought Gen. Leonard Wood to Macon to inspect proposed sites. The 21,480 acre site chosen included Holly Bluff, the home of writer Harry Stillwell Edwards and formerly the plantation of Col. Andrew Jackson Lane, C.S.A., father of Mrs. Edwards.
Major General F.J. Kernan became the first camp commander in August, 1917, and troop strength reached a high point of 28,960 in July, 1918. A cavalry remount depot was at nearby Mogul, and a range was at Phillips Station. The camp closed in April, 1919. The leased site was returned to its owners, and part later became Herbert Smart Airport.
In 1940 Camp Wheeler was re-opened on 14,394 acres of the original site and was used as a training camp until December 1943. Colonel A.R. Emery was the first camp commander. Troop capacity was 25, 890. A 1,000 bed hospital and a prisoner-of-war camp were included in the new camp. Solders trained during 1941-43 totaled 218,000.
After the war the camp was again dismantled and the leased land returned to its owners.
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