Historic McClellan Training Site

Historic McClellan training site. Property manager for the MDA Van Roberts in an area where old WW1 trenches are located. It is uncertain which were WW1 trenches as the area was used for training until the Fort closed in 1999. Photo by Bill Wilson / The Anniston Star

Officials on Saturday will unveil an historical marker recognizing Fort McClellan’s part in training soldiers for the type of trench warfare seen in World War I.

About 54 acres of the former military fort hold a network of wooden foxholes. Officials discovered in 2015 that some of those trenches date back to 1917 and were used to train American soldiers bound for Europe to fight Germans.

The discovery of the trenches caused a delay in a planned extension of Iron Mountain Road to Alabama 21.

Heather Puckett, an archaeologist involved with the historical marker, said Saturday’s event comes after years of consultation with the Alabama Historical Commission and the Alabama National Guard, which owns about 10 acres of the trench network.

Puckett said placing the marker is part of the National Guard’s’ stewardship goals. The agency is required to take appropriate steps to preserve any cultural resources at the site.

“Dedication of historical markers, such as the one commemorating the World War I trenches, helps promote awareness of Camp McClellan's military heritage,” Puckett wrote in an email.

Assistant Metro Editor Daniel Gaddy: 256-235-3560. On Twitter @DGaddy_Star.

I'm the assistant metro editor for The Anniston Star. I edit, post online stories and write the occasional story.