Chickamauga in Walker County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
Camp George H. Thomas
Historic Camp Thomas
On April 14, 1898, the first regular army unit, the all Black 25th Infantry Regiment arrived at Chickamauga Park. On April 21, Maj. Gen. John R. Brooke arrived in camp and took command of the camp. He made his headquarters at Lytle Hill on April 25, the same day, war was declared on Spain. More regular Army units arrived, and their total strength grew to 7,300 men. On April 23, the site was named Camp George H. Thomas in honor of the Civil War General who had fought here. On May 14, all regular army units had left and volunteer state units started arriving. Their numbers would swell to at least 45,000 by the end of the month.
Camp Thomas involved intensive training. Reveille was 4:40 a.m. It was intense and grueling.
On August 8, largely due to the unhealthy conditions, secretary of war Russell A. Alger ordered the camp to begin closing. Sick soldiers in the two camp hospitals were sent home on furlough to recover. Other troops were sent to other camps were discharged and sent home.
By the middle of September most of the soldiers had departed. More than 72,000 troops had been in the camp. The park was in ruins, many trees had been destroyed, some being used for firewood, some cut for poles, while others were destroyed by Cavalry horses and other livestock that ate the bark. More than 3,000 latrines were disinfected and filled, buildings were dismantled, refuse burned. Resurfacing the roads and removing dead timber continued. Work by park laborers went to replace historical markers broken during the occupation. In all, more than $25,000
The military presence continued with the opening of Fort Oglethorpe in December, 1904.
For more information on historic Chickamauga, please visit the Depot Museum, inquire at Town Hall or look up the homepages for the city of Chickamauga and the Chickamauga campaign trail on the Internet:
Location. 34° 52.246′ N, 85° 17.555′ W. Marker is in Chickamauga, Georgia, in Walker County. Marker can be reached from Cove Road (Georgia Route 341) south of Gordon Street. Touch for map. This marker cannot be seen from the roadway because it is located in a community park, at the Crawfish Springs, behind the Crawfish Springs Water Tower. Marker is in this post office area: Chickamauga GA 30707, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Town of Lytle (here, next to this marker); Sickness at Camp Thomas (here, next to this marker); North and South Reunited (a few steps from this marker); Crawfish Spring (a few steps from this marker); 3rd Confederate Georgia Cavalry 4th Georgia Cavalry (within shouting distance of this marker); Hospitals, Right Wing, Union Army. (within shouting distance of this marker); Field Headquarters Army of the Cumberland (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chickamauga.
Categories. • War, Spanish-American •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 27, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 271 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on April 27, 2015, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.