Fort Oglethorpe (2)
Fort Oglethorpe (2) (1902-1946) - Built as a U.S. Army cavalry training post between 1902 and 1904 in Catoosa County, Georgia. Named after Georgia's early leader, James Oglethorpe. Fort Oglethorpe (1) in Savannah had its name changed back to Fort Jackson (3) in 1905 to avoid confusion. Abandoned in 1946 and the property sold off by the War Assets Administration by 1948.
Construction on the fort began in 1902 and was mostly complete by 1904. The post was an open plan cavalry post with a central parade surrounded by the Officer's quarters, enlisted barracks, guardhouse, and the post headquarters. On the north side of the post was an extensive area of stables and support structures. To the northwest was the hospital complex. The officers' quarters surrounded the southern half of the parade and the seven enlisted barracks enclosed the northern half. The road enclosing the parade became Barnhardt Circle. The parade was complete with a bandstand and served not only for military parades but was pressed into service as a polo field and as a place for temporary tent housing when required.
The U.S. Civil War Chickamauga Battlefield borders Fort Oglethorpe on the south and during World War I the post expanded southward into the park. Three separate camps were established and many temporary buildings sprung up among the cannons and monuments on the battlefield. Camp Greenleaf was an Army Medical and Sanitary Corps training camp. Camp McLean was an officer training camp. By the end of the war, the post had expanded to over 1,600 buildings and had mobilized over 60,000 officers and enlisted personnel.
On 4 Jul 1919 post was designated the official headquarters of the 6th U.S. Cavalry, a designation that lasted until 1942.
At the beginning of World War II, Fort Oglethorpe still housed the 6th U.S. Cavalry which was still largely a horse cavalry regiment. The transition from horse cavalry to a mechanized unit had begun but was not complete. In 1942 the 6th U.S. Cavalry was transferred to Fort Jackson (4) in Columbia, South Carolina to complete the mechanization process and training. With the departure of the 6th, the horse cavalry era ended at Fort Oglethorpe.
The post was expanded during World War II to accommodate an induction center, an alien detention center and a prisoner of war camp. In 1943 the 3rd Women's Army Corps was established on Fort Oglethorpe bringing over 5,000 women to the post. In July 1945 the 3rd Women's Army Corps was deactivated and the post became demobilization center for returning troops. The post was deactivated in 1946 and the property disposed of by 1948.
The sale of the property and buildings created a ready-made community and in March 1949 the city of Fort Oglethorpe was incorporated. Many of the original post buildings remain and have been repurposed for civilian use. Much of the officer's row remains as does the parade ground and bandstand. All of the barracks have been removed except for the band barracks which has been restored and repurposed. The old guardhouse remains as does the gym and PX, all repurposed. The Sixth Cavalry Museum occupies a small part of the parade.
Visited: 3 Jul 2010