Third Georgia Regiment U.S. Volunteers Camp at Savannah

In the Spanish-American War, nowhere was there greater fervor than in Georgia.  “When the United States became involved in war with Spain, Georgia furnished according to population more volunteers than any other State of the Union.”

Among Berrien County, GA men who volunteered for service in the Spanish American War were Walter A. Griner, Carl R. O’QuinnPythias D. Yapp,, Zachary T. Hester, W. Dutchman Stephens, Samuel Z. T. Lipham, James M. Bridges, Charles A. Courson, Love Culbreath, George C. Flowers, James L. Jordan and George A. Martin.  All enlisted in Company D, 3rd Georgia Regiment, U.S. Volunteers.

The Third Georgia Regiment, under the command of Colonel John S. Candler, completed its organization August 24, 1898 at Camp Northen, The regiment remained at Camp Northen until November 21, when it boarded the trains to Savannah, GA in preparation for embarkation to Cuba.

The Third Georgia Regiment arrived at Savannah in the early morning of November 22, 1898  on the Central Railroad, according to the Atlanta Constitution.

Atlanta Constitution
November 22, 1898

Third Georgia is in Savannah

      Savannah, Ga., November 21. -(Special.)- Colonel Curtis Guid, Jr., inspector general of the Seventh army corps, has been busy all day making arrangements for the camp site for the Third Georgia regiment, which was to have reached the city tonight shortly after 7 o’clock. The arrival of the regiment was reported at the DeSoto hotel at one time this evening, but it turned out that there had been a delay for some cause up the Central railroad, and the train dispatcher informed the corps officials that the first section of the regimental train would not reach the city until 2 o’clock in the morning. The second section will follow shortly afterwards, and the third will be in before 5 o’clock.
      Colonel George E. Pond, chief quartermaster of the corps, instructed the railroad authorities tonight to switch all the trains bringing the Third Georgia out to the works of the Georgia Car and Manufacturing Company, on the Ogeechee road, about three miles from the city. This is the spot where Colonel Sergeant’s regiment of immunes was camped and from which it had such a long and hot march to the Central railroad wharves. Arrangements had been made, however, to have the Third Georgia moved to the wharf on trains.         The regiment will not pitch all of its tents here…The officers’ tents will be pitched, but the men will be housed under the large shed belonging to the company, the use of which has been kindly permitted by President J.J. McDonough, one of Chatham’s legislators.

The men didn’t pitch their tents because the regiment expected an imminent departure. But the first available troop transport ships went to other regiments.   There was a cold snap and the men spent a chilly night under the open shed of the Georgia Car and Manufacturing, a mistake they wouldn’t make twice.

Atlanta Constitution
November 24, 1898
THIRD GEORGIA’S UNIQUE CAMP.

The Boys Pitch Tents on Flat Cars.
No Orders To March Set.
      Savannah, Ga., November 23. -(Special.)- The time of the departure of the Third Georgia regiment for Cuba is a matter of much doubt. The officers of the regiment supposed when they arrived here that they were to go on the transport Chester, which left New York yesterday and will be in Savannah tomorrow night, but today it developed that the Chester will carry the Fifteenth infantry to Neuvitas. The only other transports coming to Savannah now are the Manitoba, which will take to the same place six troops of the Eighth cavalry, and the Michigan, which will carry six more troops of cavalry to Porto Rico. The officers and men of the Third Georgia are a bit anxious about the matter, but it seems settled that the Fifteenth infantry will go first, as it has been ordered to leave Huntsville, Ala., for Savannah tomorrow. In this event the Third Georgia will hardly leave for Cuba until after the Chester has gone to Nuevitas and returned, which will require at least two weeks’ time, as vessels going to that port have to unload on lighters.
      The Third Georgia men put up their tents today, as they came pretty near freezing last night. Their tents are set up under a big shed and on top of a lot of flat cars at the Georgia Car and Manufacturing Company’s works and the camp is one of the most unique to be found in the country. The men are not complaining, but there is one thing certain, that there will be sickness among them if they have to remain long where they are. The country is low, and they cannot dig two feet without striking water. It is impossible, therefore, to secure sinks that will last for any length of time. Colonel Berner is somewhat anxious about the matter, but so far he has been unable to secure any definite information.

 

November 24, 1898 Savannah Morning News. The Savannah firm Lindsey & Morgan advertised portable heaters for soldiers' tents during the Spanish American War.

November 24, 1898 Savannah Morning News. The Savannah firm Lindsey & Morgan advertised portable oil heaters for soldiers’ tents during the Spanish American War. “You can take it with you to Cuba, if you go.

 

Other drawbacks to the site of Camp Carpenter were its remoteness from Savannah and the fact that the site provided no opportunity for drill or dress parade.  Despite some unfavorable conditions there were no reported complaints from the men and the discipline of the regiment was said to be in splendid shape.

State Legislators Visit Camp Carpenter

On November 26, the military committee of the state House of Representatives “arrived in the city…for the purpose of inspecting the Third Georgia regiment and looking in to the situation so far as the local state militia is concerned.” In the morning the committee was entertained by the city then were taken by carriages to tour the military facilities in the city, the army transport ships at the wharf,  and to the temporary camp of the Third Georgia regiment on the Ogeechee Road. The regiment named this site Camp Carpenter in honor of General Louis Henry Carpenter.

In the afternoon “the committee assembled in carriages at the park extension, being accompanied by General Fitzhugh Lee and officers of his staff, and there was a formal review of the Third Georgia led by Colonel R. L. Berner.

Fitzhugh Lee, nephew of Robert E. Lee. President Grover Cleveland appointed him consul general in Havana in 1896, a position he retained even after the election of President McKinley. At this time, Cuba was in chaos. Lee hoped for a U.S. intervention to help the rebels desiring independence, even though President McKinley wanted the Spanish government to come to a settlement without recourse to U.S. troops. A few hours after the President ordered the U.S.S. Maine to Havana Harbor, Lee telegraphed his advice not to send such a ship. Following the explosion on the Maine, Lee returned to Washington. On May 5, 1898 he was made a major general in the army and put in command of the Seventh Army Corps.

Fitzhugh Lee, nephew of Robert E. Lee. President Grover Cleveland appointed him consul general in Havana in 1896, a position he retained even after the election of President McKinley. At this time, Cuba was in chaos. Lee hoped for a U.S. intervention to help the rebels desiring independence, even though President McKinley wanted the Spanish government to come to a settlement without recourse to U.S. troops. A few hours after the President ordered the U.S.S. Maine to Havana Harbor, Lee telegraphed his advice not to send such a ship. Following the explosion on the Maine, Lee returned to Washington. On May 5, 1898 he was made a major general in the army and put in command of the Seventh Army Corps.

 Macon Telegraph
November 30, 1898   

       The committee, accompanied by Gen. Fitzhugh Lee and several of his staff officers, reviewed the Third Georgia  in the park extension. Though little was known of the fact that the regiment would be there, the people of Savannah gathered in large numbers, and the walks of the park and those around it were well filled when the review took place. The Third Georgia, in command of Col. Robert L. Berner, marched into the city, arriving about ten minutes before 3:30 o’clock, the time for the review. The regiment had an average of seventy-two men to the company, having left a large guard and kitchen detail at the camp, and made a splendid showing, upon which it was warmly complimented by Chairman Hardwick and all the members of the committee. After the review the committee was entertained at Thunderbolt by Messrs. LaRoche and McMillan.
      The object of the visit of the legislative committee was to gather an idea as to the advantages of the state militia, by making a study of the Third Georgia, In which are many of Georgia’s volunteer soldiers, and also of the situation here with the local military. The question of the state military appropriation for the year is at stake, and the matter Is a most important one, especially in view of the fact that retrenchment is now being made on all sides possible, except the matters of education and pensions.
      “I will say that the committee was well pleased with everything it has seen, ” Chairman Hardwick said. ”We were desirous of keeping up the appropriation if it were possible to do so, and if the need for it were made apparent. Since our investigation we are thoroughly satisfied of the advantages to be gained, and there is no question that the committee will recommend the full appropriation this year.”
      The committee was evidently well pleased with the treatment it received here, and was most favorably impressed from every standpoint. The usual military appropriation is 120,000, and the committee, as stated, will recommend the full amount this year.
      The committee returned to Atlanta last night, with the exception of Messrs. Hopkins, Hutchins and Erwin, who remained as guests of Mr. Jim Barrow, who came down with the committee.
     The following statement was drawn up by the committee just prior to Its departure last night, and its publication re quested :
     ”We desire to express our appreciation of the courteous treatment accorded the military committee of the House by your city officials, the Chatham delegation and the officers and men of the Third Georgia Regiment.
      “We tender our heartiest thanks to the Hon. I. W. Meldrim, Mayor of the city of Savannah, and to Dr. W. W. Owens, Mayor pro tem, for the hearty and cor dial welcome given by them to the committee, and for their many courtesies to us during our visit to their city.
      “We also desire to tender our thanks to Mr. John M. Egan for his courteous and considerate reception and entertainment of the committee. We are also grateful to the Hon. T. H. McMillan and Hon, W. P. LaRoche for their hospitable attentions and royal entertainment.
       We also highly appreciate the courteous attentions of Col. Berner and the officers and men of the Third Georgia Regiment for the splendid review given by the regiment, in honor of the committee’s visit. We feel very proud of the magnificent bearing and soldierly appearance of the regiment, and feel that no state has contributed a finer body of men to the service of the country. Our attention has been called by Gen. Lee to the fact that the Third Georgia is the only regiment he has seen which has not been provided’ with a handsome state flag, and we think the state of Georgia should remedy this over sight before the regiment leaves for Cuba by providing such a flag for the regiment at once.”
     The statement was signed by Hon. T. W. Hardwick, chairman committee on military affairs. House of Representatives, and J. M. Hopkins, secretary.

♦♦♦

Macon Telegraph
November 27,1898

The Third Georgia

May Be Some Time Before It Goes to Cuba.

       Many people will be interested to know that the Third Georgia may not go to Cuba for some time to come, and that it will be transferred to Gen. Lee’s headquarters. The story is told as follows by the Savannah Morning News:
        The Third Georgia regiment may be attached to the seventh army corps, in which event it will not go to Cuba for the present.
       Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, commanding the seventh army corps, received a telegram front the war department yesterday telling him that the Third Georgia regiment would be detained here for the present, asking him to provide a suitable camping ground for it, and stating that it might be attached to the seventh army corps. The statement on this line, while not positive indicated the probable intention of the war department to put the Third Georgia in Gen. Lee’s corps instead of leaving it in the second army corps, to which it is now attached.
     In the event this change is made as proposed, the Third Georgia will probably go to Havana instead of Nuevitas, as appears to have been intended. It is, of course, now definitely settled that the regiment will not go to Cuba on the transport Chester, which arrived here yesterday for the purpose of taking the Fifteenth Infantry, United States regulars, to Nuevitas, and if they are to be sent to that point shortly they will have to wait at least until the Chester returns.
      On account of the apparent change in the plans for the Third Georgia it has been found necessary to change their camping ground, and this will lie done at once. Gen. Lee has decided to put the regiment out on the Waters road something over half a mile beyond the junction of that road with Dale avenue. It will be located therefore considerable distance from the regiments composing the first division of the corps.
     The camp site having been decided upon, the work of extending water pipes to it from the mains put out in that part of the country by the city will be done today, and the Third Georgia will begin moving its camp from the works of the Georgia Car and Manufacturing company, on the Ogeechee road, today or tomorrow.
        The camp can be moved and set up within twelve or fourteen hours, with a sufficient supply of army wagons for the transportation, and from present appearances the movement will begin either Sunday or Monday.
     Should the Third Georgia regiment eventually be attached to the seventh army corps, the question is, where will it be placed? There are now two divisions of two brigades each in the corps. It would throw the corps somewhat out of proportion to have an odd regiment thrown in, but some provision will doubtless be made for it. Gen. Lee is of the opinion that other regiments will be sent here to be attached to the corps, in which event another brigade could be formed. The Second United States artillery, as is well known, is now on its way to Savannah, but Gen. Lee says the artillery regiment will not be brigaded with infantry, as it will have to be assigned to duty on the fortifications.
     The Third Georgia was, strange to say, the thirteenth regiment of Infantry to come to Savannah, the seventh army corps having brought twelve, and one of the officers remarked upon that fact the other day. He is not superstitious, but he has a curiosity to know just what is going to be done with the Georgians.
      Lieut. Orr of Newnan, quartermaster of the Third Georgia, has been in the city every day since the arrival of his regiment looking after its wants. Lieut. Orr says the regiment passed a most satisfactory Thanksgiving day, and the boys had all they wanted to eat. He says the men are very well situated in their camp at present, though there is some question as to whether it would be safe for them to remain there any length of time. He was of the opinion that a change would be made in the camp, and the chances are that the men will be notified to get ready to move at once.
     The Third Georgia boys are not complaining about their camp, but they all feel as if they would like to be within more convenient access to the city as long as they are stationed, here. Their camp on the Waters road will undoubtedly be a more satisfactory one, from every point of view.

♦♦♦

Savannah Morning News
November 29, 1898

MAY WAIT UNTIL TO-MORROW.
      Third Georgia Will Not Move Its Camp If the Weather Is Bad. It has not been definitely decided whether the Third Georgia Regiment will change its quarters to-day or not. If the weather is good the chances are that the work of moving may be begun; otherwise it will not. The new camping ground for the Third Georgia is now in good shape, the water supply having been put in and the company streets staked off. The regiment, however, is not suffering in its present quarters at the Georgia car works, and there is no necessity for moving in bad weather. The regiment in fact is quite comfortably quartered since its tents are set up under the sheds and no rain falls upon them. The wind, too, is shut off, and altogether the boys are getting on finely. It begins to look as if the Third Georgia will soon be attached to the Seventh Corps. No orders have been received with regard to it in some days. One of the staff officers when asked about it yesterday said: “The only definite thing with regard to the stay here of the Third Georgia is that it is indefinite.” 

♦♦♦

November 30, 1898

WILL MOVE THEIR CAMP TO-DAY.
Third Georgia Regiment to Change Its Quarters to Dale Avenue.

The camp of the Third Georgia Regiment will be moved to-day. The Georgians will come in from their quarters on the Ogeechee road and pitch their tents on the southern side of Dale avenue, a short distance to the west of the First Texas and Second Louisiana Regiments of the First Brigade, First Division. The work of moving camp will take about one day, and by to-night the new camp will be in good shape. A sufficient number of army wagons to carry the whole outfit will be sent out to the car works, and the Georgia boys will lose no time about moving. They have been very comfortably located where they are, but they want to get settled, and they are quite anxious to get near a car line as many of them like to come into the city occasionally. 

Col. Berner spoke proudly of the Third Georgia Regiment:

Robert Lee Berner

Robert Lee Berner

      “The Third Georgia is in splendid condition for the trip to Cuba. My men are in good health and spirits, and they are glad the day of departure has come. There was never a finer regiment of soldiers in the volunteer army, and I am proud of the men who will go to Cuba under my command. The boys are soldiers and gentle men, and you will hear of no outbreaks or disorder by them. They are well disciplined and are anxious to serve their country on Cuban soil. There are no brigands or outlaws among them, and they will not raid stores, stands or other people’s property, as has been done by some soldiers.
     “We do not expect to remain in Savannah but a few days. The regiment has been ordered to Neuvitas, Cuba, and as soon as the transports reach Savannah we will go on board and start for the Cuban port, which is to be our home for the next year or two, at least.
     “You may say to the people of Georgia that they need have no fear as to the conduct of the Third Georgia while in Cuba. My men will uphold the dignity of the state and the soldiery of Georgia, and good reports will be returned because there shall be no ground for bad ones.
     “We are deeply grateful for the many kind messages of good cheer sent its by friends throughout the state and they are appreciated sincerely.”
Lieut Col. Spence said:
      “The Third Georgia is a fine regiment and it will compare favorably with any of the service. I am glad to go to Cuba with the Georgia boys. The men are in good condition.”

Maj. John S. “Jack” Cohen said:
      “Our boys are happy that they are to go. To a man they want to see Cuba and they will board the transports cheerful and contented. Ours is the only regiment which is to see active service, and for that reason the men will make the very best record possible.”

The following week, it was ordered that all of the troops at Savannah would march in review for General Fitzhugh Lee,

Atlanta Constitution
December 4, 1898

Parade of Seventh Corps
General Lee Issues Order To All The Soldiers

Will be the Grandest Military Procession Seen in the South for Many Years.

      Savannah, Ga., December 3. -(Special.)- General Lee this afternoon issued an order for a grand parade and review of the entire Seventh army corps at 3 o’clock Tuesday afternoon at the park extension. This not only includes the Seventh army corps, but all the soldiers in and around Savannah, the Maine artillery, the signal corps, the Second regular regiment, light artillery and the batteries of the regulars just in from Porto Rico; the order also includes the Third Georgia regiment, which will be the first appearance of Colonel Bob Berner’s men. This will probably be the last appearance in Savannah of General Lee and his staff and of the Seventh army corps before their departure for Cuba. It will be the largest military parade held in the south since General Breckinridge reviewed the troops of Chickamauga from Snodgrass hill.
      It is doubtful now if General Fitzhugh Lee will be in Savannah when President McKinley visits the city, the middle of the month. Orders were issued today providing for the removal within a week of the First brigade, Second division, Seventh army corps to Havana, and the announcement is made that the transports Michigan, Mobile and Roumania will carry the brigade…

♦♦♦

Atlanta Constitution
December 7, 1898

FAREWELL REVIEW OF SEVENTH CORPS

General Fitzhugh Lee Reviews Sixteen Thousand Troops.

Third Georgia Was In Line

Confederate Veterans Formed General Lee’s Escort.

Savannah, Ga., December 6. – The farewell review of the Seventh army corps before its departure for Cuba took place in Forsyth park today. Sixteen thousand troops passed in review before General Lee. Besides the Seventh corps, the Third Georgia regiment, Second Unites States artillery and two light batteries from the Third, one from the Fourth and one from the Fifth and the First Maine artillery took part in the review.
Troop A of the First Georgia cavalry-the famous Jeff Davis legion of the civil war -formed General Lee’s escort and a dashing appearance on the reviewing field…

♦ ♦ ♦

Thirty thousand people witnessed the review, which was one of the most imposing ever seen in Savannah.Americus Times-Recorder, Dec 8, 1898

Seventh Army Corps passing in review, 1898

Seventh Army Corps passing in review, 1898

 

Related Posts:

Berrien Men Prepared for Spanish-American War at Camp Northen, GA

Spanish-American War Vet Rests at Ray City, GA

Remember the Maine, Aaron Cook and the Spanish American War

Roster of Company D, 3rd Regiment Georgia Infantry U.S. Volunteers

James & Ida Lou Patten and the Cruise to Cuba

 

Berrien Men Prepared for Spanish-American War at Camp Northen, GA

In the Spanish-American War, nowhere was there greater fervor than in Georgia.  “When the United States became involved in war with Spain, Georgia furnished according to population more volunteers than any other State of the Union.”

Among Berrien County, GA men who volunteered for service in the U.S. Army were Walter A. Griner, Carl R. O’Quinn, Pythias D. Yapp,, Zachary T. Hester, W. Dutchman Stephens, Samuel Z.T. Lipham, James M. Bridges, Charles A. Courson, Love Culbreath, George C. Flowers, James L. Jordan and George A. Martin.  All enlisted in Company D, 3rd Georgia Regiment, U.S. Volunteers.

Spanish-American War enlistment record of Walter A. Griner, Nashville, GA

Spanish-American War enlistment record of Walter A. Griner, Nashville, GA

The enlistments came as Georgia responded to the destruction of the battleship USS Maine in the harbor at Havana, Cuba.

“The federal government requested that Georgia supply 3,000 troops in the form of two regiments of infantry and two batteries of light artillery for the upcoming military campaigns in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. Five days later Governor William Y. Atkinson issued a call for men by setting various quotas for Georgia’s major cities. The first state induction camp [Camp Northen] was established at Griffin (the seat of Spalding County, GA) on May 4. Volunteer enlistments from the state were slow in coming, but Governor Atkinson eventually mobilized three infantry regiments and two light artillery batteries of the state militia…Only the Third Georgia Infantry would see any overseas duty and that was as an occupation force in Cuba during the first three months of 1899.” -New Georgia Encyclopedia

Want ad dated July 12, 1898 advertising for recruits for the 3rd Georgia Regiment US Volunteers

Want ad dated July 12, 1898 advertising for recruits for the 3rd Georgia Regiment US Volunteers

The 3rd Georgia Regiment U.S. Volunteers mustered in at Camp Northen (frequently and incorrectly called Camp Northern).  The camp was named for William J. Northen, two-term governor of Georgia from 1890-1894. The assembly of the Third Georgia Regiment, U.S. Volunteers was under the command of Colonel John Slaughter Candler.

Colonel John Slaughter Candler, commanding, 3rd Georgia Regiment, U. S. Volunteers, Camp Northen, Griffin, GA

Colonel John Slaughter Candler, commanding, 3rd Georgia Regiment, U. S. Volunteers, Camp Northen, Griffin, GA

 

The men of Company D, 3rd GA Regt, US Vols began arriving at Camp Northen in July 1898.

1898 sketch of soldiers at Camp Northen, near Griffin, GA

1898 sketch of soldiers at Camp Northen, near Griffin, GA

A visitor at Camp Northen observed,

“The men in camp here are a queer lot – a composite collection from all walks of life. Social, educational, commercial lines have been obliterated by a common unity, the foundation of which is patriotism. Patrician lies in the same tent, on the same straw bed, with plebeian without a thought of the distinction. There are lawyers, bankers, doctors, preachers, clerks, carpenters, farmers and blacksmiths in one company. Some of the very best and some of the humblest families in the state are represented in the ranks. A finer lot of fellows has never been got together, however, and they long for the day when they may splice Spanish hides with American bullets. There is fight in the old land yet.”

Camp Northen had been established about 1892 as the location of the annual encampment of the Georgia National Guard, the land being contributed by the people of Griffin. Prior to the assembly of the 3rd Georgia Regiment at Camp Northen, the camp had been occupied by the 1st Georgia Regiment U.S. Volunteers (Rays Immunes). The First Regiment moved to Chickamauga Park by mid-June 1898.

A street car line ran from Griffin to Camp Northen.  The Atlanta Constitution reported,

“Camp Northen is acknowledged by army officials to be one of the best sites for an encampment in the United States. It is situated on the side of a gently sloping hill in a dense grove of oaks. On top of the hill commanding a view of the entire camp is the Colonel’s tent with the tents of the adjutant, quartermaster, commissary and surgeons near by.

Just over the brow of the hill is a spring, the water of which is as pure as crystal and almost as cold as ice. The Grounds are lighted with electricity from the Griffin power house and ever company street is supplied with a water hydrant and shower bathhouse from Griffin’s waterworks system. All the company’s quarters are supplied with kitchens, mess halls, bath-houses, tents for privates and officers, the latter being situated at the head of the streets. “

Assistant Surgeon Joseph G. Jarrell, 1st Georgia Volunteer Infantry, said of the camp, in 1898 “every convenience in the way of bath houses, kitchens, and privies were at the disposal of the troops.

The camp facilities also included a hospital, Y.M.C.A. tent, an armory, rifle range and stables. The Atlanta Constitution observed, “Some of the prettiest horses ever seen in this part of the state belong to the officers stationed here. The colonels and their staffs and the majors ride, and all have purchased fine animals for use during the war.

There was a post office on the grounds and mail was delivered to the camp several times a day. As in all wars and times, the soldiers looked forward to mail call with great anticipation. The Southern Bell Telephone Company placed a phone booth near the colonel’s quarters with a long-distance telephone. Soldiers could telephone to and be telephoned from any part of the state. A large bulletin board near the telephone booth displayed the latest war bulletins from the office of the Atlanta Constitution.

In the summer of 1898, the 3rd Georgia Regiment was ill equipped.  There weren’t enough guns for all the men, and the guns they did have were older equipment from the state guard. It would be late September 1898 before “the long-looked-for new guns, canteens, knapsacks, etc arrived and were issued to the troops. They were the latest patent Springfield rifles, and each company was furnished with a gun for every man.”  The Krag-Jorgensen was the same rifle that would be used to kill a rampaging elephant in Valdosta, GA in 1902.

U.S. Model 1898 Springfield Krag-Jorgensen rifle

U.S. Model 1898 Springfield Krag-Jorgensen rifle

Guns or no guns, the men drilled. The daily routine of the camp was:

        At 5 a.m. one gun and a bugle call summoned the soldiers from their slumbers; fifteen minutes were allowed for dressing, followed by a cup of coffee and hardtack in the mess halls; one hour was then devoted to drilling on the parade grounds, after which the men marched back to their quarters for breakfast at 7 o’clock.
       Guard mount took place soon after breakfast, when the guard for the day was selected and the colonel chose the man making the best appearance from the ranks to be his orderly during the subsequent twelve hours.
       This was followed by regimental or company drills, after which the camps were policed and the streets cleaned up.  -Atlanta Constitution, May 9, 1898

1898 sketch of soldiers' life at Camp Northen, Georgia preparing for deployment in the Spanish-American War

1898 sketch of soldiers’ life at Camp Northen, Georgia preparing for deployment in the Spanish-American War

      “….the location of the tents and ..the tented homes of the soldiers are laid off in the same way as a town is laid off, except that it is more regular. Between the tents are streets and these streets need cleaning every day, just as the streets of Atlanta are cleaned by a hired force at night. The parade grounds, too, are known as the prettiest in the south, and it is known, too, that from that same large spacious lawn trash which accumulates every day must be removed.
       But, unlike a city, the work of cleaning the streets or walks in the camp and of removing the debris from the drill ground is not done by hired men. It is done by the boys of Georgia, the pride and bone of the state…To see some of the pets of Atlanta’s society, to say nothing about the society boys of other cities of the state sweeping the street, clouds of dust coming around them, while others handled wheelbarrows into which the dirt was thrown by still others, and over all an officer standing, whose social position was away down in the grade, comparatively speaking, would convince even the loving mothers of the boys that, in the army at least, there was no distinction. -Atlanta Constitution, June, 1894

By order of the camp commander company streets, ground about tents, the kitchens, bathrooms and sinks were placed in thorough police every morning at police call under the supervision of company commanders. The regimental camp was inspected daily by the colonel or field officers.

1898 sketch of soldier on detail cleaning company streets at Camp Northen, near Griffin, GA

1898 sketch of soldier on detail cleaning company streets at Camp Northen, near Griffin, GA

Dinner occurred at 12 o’clock, after which the men were given a rest, while the officers held a conference on matters of moment, usually at the colonel’s headquarters, during which an officer usually delivered a dissertation on the matter up for discussion; another drill occurred at 4 o’clock, and dress parade and review at 6 o’clock; supper was served at about 7 o’clock and the men are given another rest until 10 o’clock, when the bugle ordered them to retire.

Beds were made out of clean straw covered with a blanket, of which each man had two. The ground inside the tents was covered with a low wooden platform and a small ditch was dug on the outside to prevent the water from coming in contact with the sleeper.

For the recruits at Camp Northen the arrival of the paymaster was a joyous occasion.  By noon on payday every man had received the months pay and that evening a large number of them were in the city parting with it.  An unfortunate fifty men, under the command of a company captain, were detailed to the city in the afternoon to keep down the disturbances among the men. Perhaps only second in significance to payday were the days that young lady visitors were entertained at the camp, under appropriate escort, of course.  On these days, the men confined to the hospital were cheered by the visitors. “The young ladies were entertained at lunch by the officers of the regiment. In the afternoon occurred the review and drill, which at the hour of sunset presented a most picturesque appearance. The men were splendidly drilled...”

A camp inspection by Lieutenant Colonel Peter J. A. Cleary, Deputy Surgeon General of the Department of the Gulf, reported in the October 31, 1898 Atlanta Constitution, that there was a shortage of bedsacks and straw at the camp. Some of the men had mattresses, but they were their own private property.

The Hospital

Lt Col. Cleary also inspected the hospital:

The hospital consists of a number of tents and one frame building, used partly as a hospital and partly as a dispensary. The sick were all provided with cots, with wire springs and mattresses. They seemed to have plenty of blankets. There were no serious cases in the hospital, though there were several convalescing from typhoid and other fevers. The men appear to be contented and the surgeon stated that he had ample supplies on hand in the way of food and medicines. I found, however, that the cots they used were rented and directed him to make requisition for any number of cots he needed, which will be supplied him at once. A large portion of the blankets in the hospital belong to the men. This also will be remedied, as he will be supplied with enough blankets without having to use those belonging to the men. He will need stoves for his tents, and was directed to make a request on the quartermaster for as many as he required, which, I presume, will be supplied him without delay. On the whole I find that the men were properly cared for and really were not suffering from anything.

Hospital Volunteers

1898 engraving of Mrs. DeForest Allgood, of Griffin GA

1898 engraving of Mrs. DeForest Allgood, of Griffin GA. Mrs. Allgood was a leading supporter of the hospital at Camp Northen during the Spanish-American War

Atlanta Constitution
November 20, 1898

Atlanta, Savannah, Macon, Augusta, Americus, Albany and Rome have all given to patriotic work representative women, and probably no city in the state proportional to its size has done more than Griffin, the little city that has for so long been the scene of the state encampments and near which is the present encampment of the Third Georgia Regiment.
The women of Griffin were among the first in the state to organize a relief association, and they have in their treasury at present over $1,200, which has been raised through their individual efforts in various ways.
Among the women of this association – which is like the Atlanta Relief Association, individual and distinctive – who have distinguished themselves for noble and unselfish work is Mrs. de Forrest Algood, the vice president.
Not only has she given money in generous contributions, but she has gone into the hospital and administered to the soldier as only a noble woman can. She has soothed many a suffering soldier into a quiet sleep by the tenderness of her solicitude and attentions; she has prepared with her own hand delicious delicacies that have been relished by the convalescing, and no soldier of the Third regiment who has known the discomfitures of a camp hospital will fail to murmur a blessing when the name of queenly and womanly Mrs. Algood is mentioned.
All the time when the hospital was crowded with men during September and early in October and when the practical assistance of the relief associations was given Mrs. Algood saw further necessity of trained assistance and offered to send two male nurses at her own expense, but the offer was refused.
An incident relative to her womanly consideration is told by a young officer who witnessed her devotion to an aged mother who had come to the deathbed of her son in the camp hospital.
When she reached there she was informed that he was dying. The anguish seemed insupportable till the strong arm of Mrs. Allgood came to her assistance, and with consoling, sympathetic words, she accompanied her to the camp. There lay the young soldier apparently cold in death, only a gasping breath now and then to tell the story of a struggling atom of life. But sobs from a mother’s aching heart, the warmth of the mother love and the tender words of the woman with her seemed to quiet the struggling life into more peacefulness. Warmth returned to the body and continued ministrations restored a consciousness that enabled the young soldier to once more recognize his mother.
Then for three days and three nights there was the agony of suspense, each hour seeming to be the one that would separate the young soldier forever from his mother. She sat patiently with him during this dreary period, but not alone, for by her side, whispering words of comfort, was Mrs. Algood. She had known sorrow and the sorrow of losing a child, and for every sigh that the elder mother drew the younger was in sympathy with her, and when the last did come and the young soldier sank back cold in death, the head of his grief-stricken mother was pillowed upon the shoulder of the beautiful and sympathetic young mother, who had watched with her, and not until the body of the soldier, borne by six comrades, was placed upon the train did Mrs. Algood return to her home from the camp where she had performed her work of womanly sympathy and comfort.

The Regimental Band

As was the typical practice, the Third Georgia Regiment had a regimental band. But unlike the national guard regiments, which usually hired musicians to form the band, the regular US Army refused to hire bands unless they were enlisted. At Camp Northen, a regimental band was one of the attractions of the camp. Prof. C. O. Pollard was the chief musician, H. P. Dane principal musician, and Edward Griggs of Dawson was appointed second principal musician. Josephus N. Slater was drum major. Other musicians included Eustice Hilliard, Burress Hall, Morris Stein, Arnold Stovall, Joseph J. Thompson, Walter C. Wilkerson, Frank H. Wilkie, and Ralph E. Wright.

Regimental Band of the 3rd Georgia Regiment U.S. Volunteers, Spanish American War. Image source: http://www.spanamwar.com/3rdGeorgiaband.htm

Regimental Band of the 3rd Georgia Regiment U.S. Volunteers, Spanish American War. Image source: http://www.spanamwar.com/3rdGeorgiaband.htm

The US flag was raised early every morning at Camp Northen, and the state flag was displayed in front of the Colonel’s headquarters. Every man was required to remove his hat when passing the flag.  The ceremony of lowering of the flag  which occurred every afternoon while the regimental band played the Star Spangled Banner attracted many visitors from Griffin.

YMCA

A Y.M.C.A. tent was established at Camp Northen prior to the assembly of the Third Georgia Regiment, which was to accompany the regiment wherever it was sent. The YMCA tent was opened under the direction of Frank K. Boland, of Atlanta, a graduate of the University of Georgia and a student in the Southern Medical College. The staff were issued army passes to travel with the troops and receive the same salary and rations apportioned to enlisted men.

“In the hardships of camp life through which the Georgia volunteers [experienced] while waiting for the order to march on Cuba they [were] cheered and strengthened, physically and spiritually, by the branch associations of the state Young Men’s Christian Association…” The Atlanta Constitution reported, “The army tent is circular in shape and forty feet in diameter, offering ample room for all the men of the regiment who desire to attend meetings. Papers and magazines will be kept on file in the tent and games, such as crokinole and checkers will be kept for those who care for the pastime. Hymn books and bibles have been furnished… and religious services will be held regularly in the tent.” Reading materials and writing facilities were provided. The men of the camp who were so inclined attended prayer meetings, Bible classes and other religious activities at the Y.M.C.A. tent.

1898 sketch of YMCA tent at Camp Northen near Griffin, GA.

The YMCA also added a commissary department to the army tent “used to furnish those of the Georgia troops who are indisposed and not sick enough to be sent to the hospital with nourishing food and careful treatment.” The YMCA anticipated, “Many of the experienced soldiers will be subject to despondency and home sickness, to whom the Young Men’s Christian Association will reach out a helping hand.” Former Governor W. J. Northen was chairman of the fundraising to support the YMCA tents at Camp Northen and other Georgia encampments.

The 3rd Georgia Regiment, under the command of Colonel John S. Candler, completed its organization August 24, 1898 at Camp Northen, where the regiment remained until November 21, when it boarded the train to Savannah, GA in preparation for embarkation to Cuba. In 1899 the 3rd Georgia Regiment returned to Georgia and was mustered out at Augusta, GA.

Related Posts: