Hod Clements ~ Doughboy

Hod P. Clements, a Ray City, GA veteran of World War I,  joined the US Army at Milltown (now Lakeland), GA.   He reported as ordered at Nashville, GA on September 21, 1917, along with 28 other Berrien County men, for transportation to the “mobilization camp”  at newly opened  Camp Gordon, Chamblee, GA. Clements trained at Camp Wheeler in Macon, GA before shipping overseas.

Josea Peeples "Hod" Clements, 1918, , dressed in his World War I uniform and holding his rifle.

 21 Hosea Peeples “Hod” Clements, 1918, , dressed in his World War I uniform and holding his rifle. Vanishing Georgia, Georgia Archives, Office of Secretary of State. http://cdm.sos.state.ga.us/u?/vg2,3978

Hod served overseas from September 17, 1918 to July 5, 1919. He was assigned to Company F, 106th Engineers, a unit of the 31st  Division. Known as the Dixie Division it was made up of men from Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. The 31st was at Brest when the armistice was signed on November 11, 1918.

Thomasville Times Enterprise, Armistice Day, Nov 11, 1918

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Hod P. Clements and the Dixie Division

Hosea P. “Hod” Clements was born December 27, 1890 in Milltown, GA, a son of Ann Eliza Swindle and John Miles Clements. Hod grew up on his father’s farm, situated on one of the ‘settlement’ roads outside of Ray City.

Hod P. Clements of Ray City, GA, 1911.

Hod P. Clements of Ray City, GA, 1911.

On June 15, 1917 Hod Clements registered for the  WWI draft at Milltown, GA . At the time he was working as a self employed farmer. He was 26 years old, medium height and build, with gray eyes and light hair.  His draft card was processed by C. O. Terry, registrar for Berrien County and also the druggist at Ray City, GA.

Three months later on September 21, 1917, and less than a week after marrying Alma Florence May,  Hosea Peoples Clements was inducted into the US Army at Milltown. His military service records show he was first assigned to Company A, 307th Engineers and trained at Camp Wheeler in Macon, GA.

Artillery Hill, Camp Wheeler, Macon, GA.  October 2, 1917

Artillery Hill, Camp Wheeler, Macon, GA. October 2, 1917. Image courtesy of Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2007664196/

Late in the summer of 1918 Hod shipped overseas where he served from September 17, 1918 to July 5, 1919. There on Oct. 14, 1918, he joined Company F, 106th Engineers. This unit was part of the 31st (old 10) Division  which encompassed units from Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.  The 31st Division was known as the Dixie Division, under the command of Major General Leroy S. Lyon.

WWI Dixie Division arm patches.

WWI Dixie Division arm patches.

Upon arrival in France the 31st was designated as a replacement division. The personnel of most of the units were withdrawn and sent to other organizations. The 31st was at Brest when the armistice was signed on November 11, 1918.

Hosea P. Clements was honorably discharged from the Army on July 13, 1919. Records show he had 0 percent disability at discharge.

After the War, Hod Clements returned to Berrien County, GA and took up farming.

Hartridge Columbus Futch and the Construction of Camp Wheeler

The records of WWI draft registrations for Berrien County, Georgia give H.C. Futch’s full name as Hartridge Columbus Futch.

Hartridge Columbus Futch ~ WWI Draft Registration Card

On Sept 12, 1918 when registering for the draft, Hartridge gave his permanent residence as Ray City, Berrien, Georgia, although he was already working at Camp Wheeler, GA at the time. His occupation was carpentry. He was described as medium height, medium build, with blue eyes and black hair.    He listed his wife, Ethel Estelle Futch, as next of kin.  D.A. Sapp signed his draft card as the registrar. The birth date given on his record confirms the date found on the faded marker found at his grave in Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.  Hartridge Columbus Futch was a son of Julia Ann Taylor and John M. Futch.

Construction on Camp Wheeler, named for Confederate cavalry General Joseph Wheeler, began in July, 1917.  Camp Wheeler, located  just east of Macon at Holly Bluff, would become the temporary home to tens of thousands of “Doughboys”  on their way to the WWI battlefields of Europe.

Did H.C. Futch help build these mess halls at Camp Wheeler, GA?

Camp Wheeler, GA ~ January 16, 1918

Later, Camp Wheeler would serve a whole new generation of soldiers as a training camp for WWII.