First Cook, Company 4480, Camp SP-10, Hunting Island, Beaufort /
Frogmore, South Carolina & Company 4477, Camp
SCS-24, Bishopville, South
I originated from Sinclair County, Alabama. I was raised on a two
horse farm following a mule, me and my daddy. He said he was going to
learn me where my living come from and taught me
how to work. Thats a lesson I appreciated, and I would always have
a job afterwards.
But the work on the farm didnt pay much at the time. We had
plenty to eat but there wasnt too much money. So I looked elsewhere.
But we didnt have jobs in the area. If you could get a job the pay
was only 50 cents a day. So when I got a chance to go into the
CCCs around 1939 I signed up.
They sent me to a
CCC Camp at
Alabama just out of
Birmingham. This was not a working camp, but a camp where
they sent you on to other camps where you would stay and work. Here I had
a chance to go the West Coast or
Carolina. If you went to the West Coast you had to sign up for a year so
I went to South Carolina as I wasnt sure if I would like it or
They put us on a train for
road all night in rail road cars and stopped in Augusta Georgia and then
came on down to Beaufort. From there we went by truck out of Beaufort and
eventually on through a little old wide place in the road, not a town really,
that we would learn was called Frogmore. The boys
in camp would come to call it Plumnearly, as it
was plum out of the state and near out of the world.
Frogmore, we went along the road and over a bridge
to Hunting Island, Camp SP-10 Company 4480. The Camp was run by the Army
and had Army Barracks where we would sleep and a Mess Hall where would eat
and a Tool Shed and buildings for the Army Officers who ran the Camp. The
also was a light house on the island.
Shortly after we first got
down there, we got three or four guys walked out with their barracks bag.
It was a long walk up that road to Beaufort, but they didnt like the
place, its in the sticks. But for those of us who
stayed, it was not bad. We enjoyed ourselves down there, us boys
HuntingIsland we worked out on the field doing landscaping for
a short time and I didnt like it too much. They had an opening to get
into the storage room so I went in there. I ran the Storage Room in the kitchen.
Thats where they had the canned goods the good stuff and all.
Soon I got a chance to be a cook
so I stayed in there as a cook.
I was a second cook
HuntingIsland. They taught us how to cut meat and all that. They
would take a half of beef or a hog and we would cut it up and cook it. Although
we cooked meals for 200 boys in the Company, it didnt take too long.
We cooked in big army pots and we had them big old coal stoves. Then we had
KPs in there that helped us out.
When we werent
working we kept busy from one thing to another. We would play ball. Since
we were down on the ocean, we would go swimming. The marines up from
ParisIsland would come down there to go swimming sometimes
On Saturdays sometimes
we went from
HuntingIsland up to Buford on the rec
trips to go to a show. It wasnt but 30 dollars a month that we were
paid and some went home and we kept the balance. But that gave us some that
we could spend some on these trips to town. We thoroughly enjoyed these
I was at
HuntingIsland about six months. It was about 1940 or thereabout
that our work was done on
HuntingIsland. When the
HuntingIsland camp disbanded we had the choice to go to another
camp but we had to reenlist. Again I had the choice of enlisting for another
year to go to a camp on the West Coast or enlisting for six months and staying
local which is what I did.
So then I came over here
SCS-24, Company 4477. This camp was on
get to the Camp site now, though its all grown up,
you would go down 15 from Bishopville towards Hartsville about three miles
and then turn right at first highway, which is
Theres a church on the left right there and also theres a Beauty
shop on the left side as you pass the river. Its about
7 miles from Bishopville (about four miles from I15). The Camp was
right on the road, before you get to I20.
The Bishopville Camp was
Soil Conservation Camp when we got there. Before we went there it was a Park
Camp worked by another Company. They dug a pond and they had camps down near
the river. They built
is still there and you can stay there and there are trails. That Companys
boys came from
My Company was Company 4477.
Our foreman was Mr. Scurry who worked for the Soil Conservation Service.
He had his place right out there at the edge of the Army Camp that we stayed
in. Where I was at was that was the Army Quarters, run by the Army
Mr. Scurry was over the boys out in the field.
We did terracing and setting out grass all out there on a hill near St Matthew
Church on 341. To get to the site you would go about
about a mile from Bishopville towards
Lynchs River on 15, make a left on 341.
Thats where we done all that work up there. The work was Soil Conservation
Work on private property to stop erosion. I cant think of the owners
name right off hand, he was an insurance man. Theres a dog place there
Not long after I got there,
they found out that I could cook so they put me in the kitchen there. I stayed
in there till I got out. I became First Cook. We had a fellow from
Georgia who was over us as the Mess Sergeant. He later
married a girl from here.
The camp was a good camp.
We didnt have any body that got in trouble at either camp. I fairly
enjoyed it. We had some good friends from around and about there.
Just before I got out of
the CCCs I met my wife. One of the boys, Marcus
Mann, dated a girl who had a sister. We were both a cooks, he was on one
shift and I was on another shift. He took me out on a blind date with his
girlfriends sister. We liked each other and dated. Later Marcus and
I both married the Godwin sisters.
I left the
CCCs after four months at Bishopville, and ten
months over all. I got a job making ammunition boxes here and left to do
When WWII started up when
I was over here in
When the War come up they disbanded the
CCCs. A lot of those boys went into the
service. I was turned down for the service on account of my eyes. So I stayed
here in Bishopville.
and my wife got married in 42. Ive always said I reckoned I could get
one just as good but I couldnt get one no better.
While in the
CCCs we got $8 a month for ourselves and the rest
went home. My family put up a small amount from the rest that I got when
I got out of the CCCs. When I got married I used
that to get some used furniture for our house.
We had a boy who became
a Marine, and trained at
ParisIsland. He was in the first bunch that landed in
Vietnam and served four years over there. My younger Boy
was in the Army at the same time. He went to
Thanks to my daddys
lessons, I had a job all my life. When I retired on
30, 1986, I had never asked
for but two jobs. I worked at the
for 38 years nine months. I was there when they first integrated. Theyve
disbanded the high school now, they built a new
one here out in the country. But the old building is still there. I hope
they do something with it. I didnt have no
problem with those children. They think the world of me, everybody knows