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Infantry School at Fort Benning (MC 329)

Organizational Note

During World War I the Unites States Army began looking for a new, more adequate location for the Infantry School, one with better terrain and weather conditions than its Fort Sill site.  When the civic leaders in Columbus, Georgia learned that the city was under consideration as that site, an aggressive lobbying campaign began to sway the vote, involving General Betjeman.

The decision was made in 1919 to purchase 97,000 acres of land in Chattahoochee and Muscogee Counties in increase the size of then Camp Benning and to move the fledgling Infantry School there, just outside Columbus.

The post had its beginning on October 7, 1918 at Camp Benning.  On July 17 of the following year, it took possession of the new land and the enlarged post began its new existence.  The school was moved to Camp Benning from Fort Sill, Oklahoma and became known as the Infantry School of Arms.  In September 1919 the name was changed to the Infantry School.

The War Department's General Order No. 1 of January 9, 1922, made the camp a permanent military post under the provision in 1913.  Thereafter it was known as Fort Benning. 
In 1941 a second land acquisition expanded the fort by an additional 65,000 acres.  Fort Benning currently has over 180,000 acres

Scope and Content

The Infantry School Collection consists of 12 folders of material pertaining to the founding of the Infantry School at Fort Benning in 1918.  The role of the Chamber of Commerce of Columbus in helping establish the school and acquire the land is reflected in the collection.  Two CDs are included with material on the Chamber scrapbook and Benning notes.  A copy of the "Official Orders" for the establishment of a School of Arms in 1918 exists.


1907-1950                                                           1 box (.25 l.f.)

Permission to Publish

Permission to publish material from the Infantry School of Fort Benning must be obtained from the Columbus State University Archives at Columbus State University.  Use of the following credit line for publication or exhibit is required:

Infantry School of Fort Benning (MC 329)
Columbus State University Archives
Columbus, Georgia

Provenance

This collection came to the CSU Archives in the fall of 2013 from the Columbus Public Library when they closed their archival collection and donated the materials to the Columbus State University Archives.  The collection was named The Columbus Chamber of Commerce Collection MC 046 when it was at the Public Library.

Note to Researchers

See also:

Fort Benning by Kenneth H. Thomas Jr.

Rotary Club of Columbus Collection (MC 273)

George C. Marshall was an active member of the club from 1927 to 1932, while he was Assistant Commandant of the Infantry School.

Frank T. Schnell Collection (MC 25)

This contains the telephone directory for the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. October. 1932

John S. Lupold Collection (MC 197)

This collections a student research paper, "An Outline History of Ft. Benning, GA and the Infantry School Concept", by Robert Holcombe Jr., 1990

Box and Folder List

Box 1

Folder 1 -- Army order for the formation of a board to choose a site for the Infantry, 1918
Folder 2 -- "Benning's History in a Nutshell" by W. C. Woodall, January 13, 1922
Folder 3 -- Chamber of Commerce Journal, 1917-1918
Folder 4 -- "The Establishment of the Infantry school at Columbus, Georgia, June 1918-March 1919"; from the scrapbook of Mrs. John A. Betjeman
Folder 5 -- "The Establishment of the Infantry School 1907-1920 part 3; How the Chamber of Commerce aided in the establishment of the Infantry School"
Folder 6 -- Fort Benning and Columbus by Loretto Lamar Chappell
Folder 7 -- Hatcher Plantation, notes from Bessie Hatcher Strupper, 1928
Folder 8 -- "Historical Columbus" by Captain Stuart R. Carswell and Capt. Swindler
Folder 9 -- "History of Fort Benning" by Edgar Erskine Hume, Major Medical Corps
Folder 10 -- Infantry Journal, Doughboy Stadium Number, October 1925
Folder 11 -- Fruitful Years in Columbus, GA. A report of Columbus' Progress, compiled by the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, 1950
Folder 12 -- Columbus Chamber Scrapbook, Benning notes, 2 CDs