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Old News Stories
CCC Camp's History, 1934

From The Chatsworth Times
June 28, 1934


Weekly News from Camp Crawford W. Long
Co. 483 CCC-GA F-7, Captain John R. Tindall, Company Commander

Published every Thursday for the Company through
the courtesy of The Chatsworth Times.

Thursday, June 28, 1934

History of Company 483 CCC, Forestry Camp Ga. F-7, Chatsworth, Georgia

It is my purpose to present the history of Company 483 of the Civilian Conservation Corps as obtained while a member of the first enrollment.

This camp is one of the 1,679 approved camps established throughout the country by order of President Roosevelt, in accordance with the act of Congress, which was approved on March 31, 1933, providing for the establishing of Civilian Conservation Corps for the relief of the unemployed through the performance of useful public works.

On Saturday, June 3, 1933, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, about 300 boys registered at the employment relief office in Atlanta. From 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., they underwent a physical examination at the city auditorium. Some of these boys went to Fort Benning, Ga., and Fort McPherson, Ga.,; 112 remained to be sent to Fort McClellan, Ala. This last group was marched to the Terminal Station at 4:00 p.m., and as they passed through the gate they were given a lunch which they ate with much gusto on the train. The apple, two sandwiches and piece of pie, didn't last long.

The train arrived at Fort McClellan, Ala., at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 3,1933. These 112 applicants were given cheese and bologna for supper; then each was issued bed clothes and a cot. On the next morning these boys were issued clothes and mess kits. They took another physical examination, were vaccinated and were given their first "shot" for typhoid. After that they took oath and became 111 "selectees."

About 6:30 p.m., 100 applicants arrived from Rome, Ga. They went through the same routine as did those from Atlanta. On June 5, 1933, 98 selectees from Rome were assigned and joined. The 111 selectees from Atlanta and the 98 selectees from Rome combined to form Company 483 CCC, Fort McClellan, Ala., June 5,1933. The officers were: Captain F.C. De Langton and First Lieutenant J.E. Walker.

First was the appointment of a First Sergeant, Company Clerk, four leaders and eight assistant leaders. These men were selected by Captain De Langton from the personnel records of the men in the company as follows: First Sergeant, Paine; Company Clerk, Pegram; Leaders, Kryder, Haynes, Jackson, Huff; Assistant Leaders, Reeves, Traylor, Williams, A. Williams, 0. Terrell, Jones, T.W. Bridges, and Hubbard T. Other appointments were: Hart and Pratt, Medical Assistants; Middlebrooks, Rainey, Hayes, Benton, Wooten, Orderlies; King, Spruill, Mayfield, Shirah, Millican, Lewis, Cook, cooks; Moody, Mess Sergeant; Wellborn H., Supply Sergeant.

Captain De Langton was relieved by Captain W.A. Cunningham on June 5,1933. Other assignments of officers and enlisted men were as follows: June 14, Sergeant O'Brien, Co. "L" 22nd Inf., June 15th, Captain Cunningham relieved by Captain Aide Orrill; June 18th, Sergeant Studdard, Co., "M" 22nd Inf, relieved by Corporal J.A. Miller, Co. "M" 22nd Inf.; June 24th, First Lieutenant George S. O'Bear, 111, joined.

During the course of the training camp the routine schedule was as follows: 5:30 a.m., Reveille; 6:00 breakfast; 6:30, clean tents and make up bunks; 6:45, setting up exercise commanded by 1st Lt. Walker; 7:00, work started, clearing off area around the company: 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. lunch; 1:00 to 3:00, work resumed; 3:15 to 5:00, recreation; 5:00, supper; 5:30 to 9:00 p.m., recreation; 9:00 p.m., lights out.

These were days of trials and tribulations. Unaccustomed to hard work many boys suffered from blistered hands in the process of being toughened. On June 15th some fifteen boys were "knocked out" by their third typhoid "shot" and were carried to the camp dispensary, from there to the fort hospital. Many others were sleepless that night and were treated in their tents. Others were still suffering from their vaccination. These were days of the "survival of the fittest."

The company did some excellent work in their area and was rated one of the best companies in Fort McClellan. These boys proved they could hustle when, on the night of June 23rd, they were informed that they would leave for a forestry camp the next day. By noon of June 24th, these boys had torn down their 29 tents, packed their stuff and loaded all baggage and equipment on the train ready to leave. The train pulled out at 7:00 p.m., enroute to Forestry Camp Ga. F-7; located on Holly Creek, 7-1/2 miles east of Eton, in Murray County, Ga. The officers were: Captain Aide Orrill, 1st Lt. J.E. Walker; 1st Lt. George S. O'Bear, III; enlisted men, Sergeant O'Brien, Corporal Miller, both of the 22nd Inf. There were then 199 enrolled in the company compared with the 209 at the start. The others were discharged for one reason or another. New recruits from local communities were taken in to fill vacancies. Lt. Walker, Spruill and one or two others left ahead of the train in Lt. Walker's car to have breakfast ready when the company arrived.

The train pulled in at Eton, Ga., 3:00 a.m., June 25th. The boys upon awakening looked about, "Where in the are we? Why did the train stop here?" They were informed that breakfast would be ready in a minute; accordingly they "piled out and unloaded." They had salmon and eggs and bread and coffee. They ate like starved hyena's, while chattering like a bunch of monkeys. They were not allowed to investigate the town of Eton, but were ordered to stay near the depot ready to leave for the forestry camp.

At 6:00 a.m., these boys arrived in trucks at their temporary camp side, a desolate acre, half grown over with weeds and brush. By 12:00 noon, June 25th, the area had been cleared, 29 tents for the boys, one for headquarters, and one for the officers and forestry men had been erected. The next day was declared a holiday and the boys went swimming in Holly Creek and hiking about the hills surrounding the camp.

Beginning July 1st, many changes occurred in the selection of leaders and in cutting the number of camp overhead to a minimum: Armstrong was appointed leader of the surveying crew: Middlemas, assistant leader as forestry clerk; Spruill and King, leaders as head cooks; Milam, assistant leader of camp construction; Paine, assistant leader in road work. From arrival in the Forestry Camp Ga. F-7, the "selectees" became "members" or "enrollees."

From June 26th until July 24th, on the arrival of the detract 55 trail builder, the road work was done with hand tools alone. Mr. Albert Earnest, project superintendent in the forestry service, complimented the boys work very highly. He said they had accomplished more than he had hoped for, considering he had nothing to "start with but a pencil and some paper."

On July 10th, work began in clearing the site for a permanent camp, to be located about a quarter of a mile up Holly Creek from the temporary site. This work was mainly done outside of the regular road work in the forestry service. By August 1st, construction on the mess hall was completed. This building is 125 feet long, 20 feet wide, and has accommodations for 200 men, kitchen, storeroom, and dining room for officers and forest service men. The lumber for this building was cut on the camp site.

On August 8th, Captain Orrill returned to assume command of the R.O.T.C. unit at Fulton high school, Atlanta, Ga, He did much in helping the camp get organized in the forest service. 1st Lt. J.E. Walker became Company Commander. By August 20th, the fire trail on Emory Creek was completed. This work was being done while the road from Eton to camp was being widened and made straight, eliminating blind curves where possible.

Beginning about the middle of September a small detail of boys began to make pole frames for the tents on the permanent camp site, but work was abandoned when orders were received that 80,000 feet of lumber would arrive shortly for the construction of barracks. Now follows one of the outstanding events of this history: In two weeks time a detail of some thirty boys in camp erected four barracks, each 121 feet long and 20 feet wide, ready to be occupied. The building of these barracks and mess hall wa supervised by 1st Lt. George S. O'Bear, III.

On September 29th, the company moved to their new camp. By noon this movement was completed. This is another example of the speed with which these men are capable of working under the correct leadership. On October 1, 1933, the boys who were enrolled in Fort McClellan, Ala., were re-enrolled for the second six month's term of service. There were a few exceptions who did not re-enroll, but dropped out.

On Thanksgiving day, November 30th, one of the barracks was detailed to stay in camp for fire duty. These boys were disappointed in not being able to go home, but their disappointment vanished when they attended the Thanksgiving feast. They had so much turkey that they couldn't eat it all; indeed, it would be hard to duplicate such a dinner at home or anywhere else.

The Christmas holidays extended from Dec. 22nd to Dec. 26th. The boys had their choice of taking Christmas or New Year's. It was necessary to keep a fire detail of thirty men in camp. As on Thanksgiving so on Christmas, the boys who remained in camp enjoyed a meal that was complete in every respect.

Beginning the new year, the boys were sorry to see Lt. Walker leave. He was presented with a fine Elgin wrist watch as a token of friendship and good will. The fund for the watch was raised by voluntary contributions of the boys in camp. Lt. J.E. Walker was relieved by Captain A.D. Somerville on Jan. 1,1934.

On March 7, 1934, Captain Somerville returned to Atlanta, Ga. First Lt. George S. O'Bear, III, became commanding officer. Sergeant O'Brien and Corporal Miller were called to their respective companies. On March 8th, Mr. D.A. Snow, appointed by the United States Commissioner of Education, arrived as camp educational advisor. C.A. Paine was elected assistant educational leader. On March 13th, 1st Lt. G.B. Sumner joined the company. He assumed the duties of welfare officer under direction of the company commander.

On May 15th, Captain J.R. Tindall took the place of 1st Lt. George S. O'Bear, III, as company commander. Lt. O'Bear was the last of the original officers assigned to the company at Fort McClellan, Ala. Lt. O'Bear was presented a splendid fishing rod as a token of appreciation for his work. June 4th and 5th, marks the anniversary of the "old timers" the boys who were with the company at Fort McClellan. They will receive their discharges on June 30, 1934. There are 90 left out of the original 209. New recruits have filled the vacancies so that company strength has been around 190 men.

In the following paragraphs the important phases of camp life will be taken up. The daily routine schedule at Fort McClellan has been previously mentioned; below is the daily routine schedule of forestry camp Ga. F-7; (note the similarity).

5:30 to 5:45 a.m., time to get up; 6:00, breakfast; 6:30 to 6:45, clean barracks and straighten up bunks; 6:45, roll call for work; 7:00, loading of trucks with boys and tools, start to work; 12:00, lunch; 1:00 p.m., return to work; 3:00, come in from work; 3:00 to 5:00, recreation; 5:00, supper; 5:30 to 9:00, recreation, 9:00 p.m., lights out.

At Fort McClellan, the selection of leaders and assistant leaders was done from the personal records and from the general appearance of the boys. Captain F.C. De Langton had nothing else to go by. In the forest service, promotions and demotions occur according to the merit of the individual's work. The quality of leadership is earned through hard work. It is the result of accomplishment.

The social activities of the camp play an important part in uplifting the morale of the boys and in breaking up the monotony of routine procedure. There was little to do at Fort McClellan during the brief training period of three weeks, but at the forest camp, interest developed rapidly along social lines.

Every Thursday the regular weekly devotion services are held in the recreation hall. Ministers from the nearby towns and as far as Acworth, Ga., to Chattanooga, Tenn., have given talks. The boys were complimented on the splendid spirit in which they co-operated in these services.

The boys attend the theater in Dalton, Ga., once a week for a small fee. They are conveyed on trucks furnished by the forest service and army. There is usually a dance given once a month in the recreation hall at camp. Young ladies from the nearby towns find these to be most enjoyable occasions, due to the splendid co-operation of the townsfolk.

The baseball team last year only lost two games out of sixteen encounters. This year, due to the vacancies left by four star players of last year, they have an average of .500. The basketball team had a poor record last year, but with new material coming in this July, and with some veteran players to build on, the camp should offer keen competition this fall.

In the early part of spring the camp took part in an open field day. There were cash prizes offered for first and seconds in the events. All of the events common to a college track meet were held, and in addition there was a tug of war between opposing factors of the barracks. Competition was keen and the field day program proved a big success.

The most outstanding recent phase of camp activities is the development of an educational program since the arrival of D.A. Snow, on March the 8th. The first two weeks were spent in personally interviewing every man in camp. From this survey the most beneficial subjects desired by the greatest number of boys were arranged in a schedule. At one time or another the following courses have been offered: Writing, reading and arithmetic of elementary level; advanced writing and arithmetic; English, both elementary and advanced; algebra, geometry, bookkeeping, carpentry, auto mechanics, forestry, personal hygiene and first aid, dancing, history, geography, debating, dramatics, lectures on social and economic problems, and music. The boys have taken a great interest in the educational program. In March 66.8 per cent of the boys attended classes; in April 74 per cent; in May 81.5 per cent. The report for June has not been made at this writing, but it is expected that the percentage will be up to standard. In conducting these classes the camp educational adviser and his assistant have been most ably assisted by the army officers, the forest service officials, and by a few of the enrollees.

Since its organization on June 4,1933, this company has had seven commanding officers, four first lieutenants and two enlisted men. The only officer not previously mentions is First Lieutenant Tofey G. Smaha, camp surgeon. He was assigned to this company in July, 1933, and he and his assistant Hart have carried the company through an epidemic and measles and mumps successfully. Doctor Smaha has served us well, and has proved to be a capable and efficient physician.

Following is a list of the forest service officials: Albert Ernest, the first project superintendent, relieved October 12, 1933, by W.F. Montgomery, the present project superintendent. Mr. Earnest was presented a fine traveling bag by the boys as a farewell gift. Mr. Skaggs, truck trail foreman, who served from June 25, 1933, through November 1, 1933; R.P Hufstetler, truck trail foreman, who served from June 25, 1933, through February 21, 1934; C.M. Arrowood, truck trail foreman and assistant superintendent in charge of the side camp, who came to us November 1, 1933; F.H. Lanham, truck trail foreman, on duty since January 16, 1934; Mack Trammell, truck trail foreman, on duty since April 1, 1934; J.F. Arrowood, blacksmith, on duty since June 26, 1933; J.P. Kelley, forest service mechanic, on duty since November 1, 1933. These men, with the hearty co-operation of the army and the enrollees, have built twenty-eight miles of roads, four bridges, a lookout tower and cabin, in addition to the maintenance of fifty-six miles of roads, the fighting of fires, etc.

The work of the Civilian Conservation Corps, as specifically demonstrated by the achievements of this camp, is of inestimable value. Idle hands have been employed in constructive work. The morale of our boys has been preserved; this experience has benefitted them physically, financially, mentally, morally and spiritually.

June 27, 1934-C.A. PAINE.

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