The Tennessee Civilian Conservation Corps

From a monument in Bicentennial Park, Nashville, Tennessee

     Few men have the satisfaction of knowing they have made a contribution in their lifetime that will last through the ages and touch the lives of thousands.

     Men of the CCC know that feeling well. The Civilian Conservation Corps was launched by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, April 5, 1933. As a lifeline for undernourished sons of the Great Depression, it was a move to alleviate distress caused by unemployment through the establishment of a chain of camps, where young men would work on soil erosion on farms, forest and park conservation projects. Each company consisted of about 200 young men who were housed in tents and barracks under the management of Army personnel. They were paid 30 per month of which 25 was sent home.

     CCC labor played a major part in the establishment of the Tennessee state park system. CCC boys did extensive work in the great Smoky Mountain National Parl, Shiloh and Chickamauga National Military Parks. Hundreds of civilians were helped along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers by the CCC during the violent flood in 1937.

     The Corps lasted until America entered World War II. President Roosevelt called the Corps his 2nd Reserve Army. The CCC was the glue that made up our military forces during the first and second years of that war. General George C. Marshal credited our early training as a major factor in America's winning that war. Two of the flag raisers on Iwo Jima were former CCC boys. A CCC boy from West Tennessee received the Congressional Medal of Honor while serving with the 99th Infantry Division during the Battle of the Bulge. The fully story of the CCC participation in this war will never be fully known.

     We hope that this monument will promote among Tennesseans and the nation an understanding and appreciation for what the CCC did for our state and country. If you and future generations see fit to raise voices in song of praise for us … we will consider this our reward.

Dedicated April 18, 1998

By The Tennessee Civilian Conservation Alumni To The Honor and Memory of All Tennesseans Who Served In The Civilian Conservation Coprs 1933- 1942