24 July 1918 – Leaving Camp Hancock



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Many thanks to Coralee for providing me with artifacts throughout the years and especially for the stack of WWI-era letters that were delivered to me on 31 May 2019. They have provided countless hours of family history entertainment.

– Denise

Tuesday, 23 July 1918 was the day that Floyd left Camp Hancock in Augusta, Georgia. Or was it Wednesday, 24 July 1918? His journal showed some confusion on whether it was the 23rd or 24th, but if it was indeed a Tuesday, then it was the 23rd. But given the timeline he shared with us, the 24th is more likely. In any case, imagine waking up and learning that you would be leaving for an “unknown destination!” Floyd left us notes to give us a glimpse of that long day.

Tuesday, 23 July 1918.

Tuesday 7, 234, ’18.

All up at 6:00 AM.

Reveille at 6:15.

Mush for breakfast, peach sauce, bread, slice of bologna.

Made preparations to leave for an unknown destination.

Cleaned up our Co. street and had our packs ready to leave at 8:30.

About 9 our whistle blew and all were out with a jump and glad to be there. (Red was transferred to the Second Casual Co.)

Tuesday, 23 July 1918.

Were called to the front and center of our Co. st.

Top Sergt. took the report and immediately we were off for the G.M. Depot.

After a hot walk of 2 ½ mi. we reached the depot but were nearly roasted.

Twenty one men from the 36th P.O.D. were made U.S citizens. Were to receive their papers later.

There were a few others from another Co that rec’d their papers.

Waited about 2 hours before entraining.

Tuesday, 23 July 1918.

38 men including “Our” 13th squad were put in car No 66, the third car from engine “Norfolk & Western.”

We left dear old Hancock at 12:20 PM this twenty-third fourth day of July nineteen hundred and eighteen A.D.

For my last time (I suppose)

The train was composed of 14 passenger cars and two or three supply cars & caboose.

Had dinner about 1:30 PM. It consisted of bologna, tomatoes, bread, jell and water.

Tuesday, 23 July 1918.

We were soon in South Carolina.

The farmers along here seem to be more prosperous than those in Ga.

Better farms too.

We sped along in fine shape seeing some beautiful scenery all the way.

Saw my first tobacco field 4:20 PM in S.C. July 234, 18.

Tuesday, 23 July 1918.

About 5:00 PM the Corp of Squad 13 induced a man at a small town to hand him in a (stopping for water & cool 5:03 PM) watermelon of which squad #13 had to be fed first after which it was given to the “first come.”

At this small town (I know not the name) a man gave me a stone for the fire place.

Many melons were given to the boys here by the town people.

(writing on the train.)

I wrote a letter to the folks at home also to the folks up North (Mother & Roy – address)

Tuesday, 23 July 1918.

It seems strange that in many places thru here (40 mi from Florence S.C.) 70 ft. dead trees are left in the fields. Old stumps as well. Crops looking better.

Quite a lot of corn and some if it good – all drilled.

Farm buildings much better.

Passed thru large swamps with thick growth of pines, etc.

Hogs in some of these places.

A number of swampy places near Florence.

Tuesday, 23 July 1918.

The S.C. furnished us with candy at Flo.

Several of the boys had boys buy them watermelons and ice cream cones. Two of us bot a big melon for 25¢.

30 min ride from Flo. I saw the first Rural U.S. mailboxes.

Saw mills are seen frequently.

Most telephone lines are of the two wire variety with poles about 15 rds apart.

The town we passed thru about 8:00 PM was not Florence but we found her waiting for us in reality at 9:30.

Tuesday, 23 July 1918.

Had supper with her corned beef, beans, coffee & bread. After which we were allowed to go about the town for about 40 min. All enjoyed themselves very much.

The S.C. treated us very nice. “13 squad” again lucky as they were given a basket of peaches, nearly ½ bu.

Told Florence goodbye at 11:10 PM. Lights out at 11:30.

The guys in the front seat kept us awake quite awhile, but after they quieted had a good nite.

Tuesday, 23 July 1918.
Map (approximate), Camp Hancock to Florence, South Carolina, by train.


Traveling by train.


Floyd Boyce Phillips, “Journal” (Army, 1918-1919).” privately held by Denise Krueger, Rochester, MN, 2019.

Google Maps, Google ( https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Augusta+Museum+of+History,+1430,+560+Reynolds+St,+Augusta,+GA+30901/Florence,+SC/@33.6912429,-81.5012823,9z/data=!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x88f9cc7163f83a1b:0xfa61806456059657!2m2!1d-81.960554!2d33.474778!1m5!1m1!1s0x885566d61ff10fe9:0xac3c3b81f5d91e2a!2m2!1d-79.7625625!2d34.1954331!3e3 : accessed 3 Jun 2019)

The Phillips Family

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