During the Great War, all Americans were called upon, in one way or another, to help the war cause. Civilians were asked to ration vital war materials, from eating less meat to traveling as little as possible to conserve gasoline and rubber. Women were called from their traditional roles a house keepers into factories and warehouses to fill vacancies left by soldiers leaving for Europe. In 1917 the Wilson administration implemented a national draft to raise an army sufficient enough to contribute to the Allied cause. Although around 2 million soldiers enlisted voluntarily  for military service in the Great War, the U.S. drafted approximately another 2.5 million men. This huge influx of both draftees and volunteers necessitated facilities to house and train America’s fighting men. Between the various Army, Marine, and National Guard units that served overseas, Middle Georgia served as a center for military training camps and recruiting stations: Camp Wheeler in Macon, Camp Hancock in Augusta, Camp Gordon near Atlanta, Fort Screven on Tybee Island, and Souther Field in Americus, among many other facilities. These camps provided fresh recruits necessary training to endure European trench warfare. By 1918, men from Middle Georgia fought in several major campaigns, including the Champagne-Marne, the Aisne-Marne, and the Meuse-Argonne offensives. Georgians served in combat for one year, returning to victory celebrations.

By Micheal Williams