Camp Greene, North Carolina: Top 10 Cool Facts

camp greene

It was once a major Army installation and very few people are now alive who remember it as such.

I speak of Camp Greene, North Carolina and in today’s post, I am going to share 10 cool facts about this Army site that is no longer in the Army.

Scroll down and learn about Camp Greene.

#1: When Camp Greene Opened

The United States was being enticed to help her allies in Europe against the Germans in World War I. But the United States was shorthanded on military personnel as well as sites to train and manage those soldiers.

Because of this, Camp Greene was established in 1917.

#2: Where

In 1917, Charlotte, North Carolina was just a small town. But Camp Greene was established on the outskirts of Charlotte and the population of Charlotte soon rose by 40,000.

#3: Named After

The Camp was named after a Revolutionary War hero… Nathanael Greene. While he was not from North Carolina, George Washington had put Greene in Command of the Southern Armies and he took command at Hillsborough, North Carolina.

One of Greene’s nicknames was The Savior of the South.

#4: The Birth Of 2 Army Divisions

2 great Army divisions were started at Camp Greene:

  1. The 3rd Infantry Division – The Rock of the Marne
  2. and The 4th Infantry Division – Ivy

#5: Why Charlotte

Many cities and towns competed to get Army training grounds to help the economy and support the War effort.

Charlotte was in direct competition with:

  • Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Wilmington, North Carolina
  • Syracuse, New York
  • and Athens, Georgia

The town leader pitched the Army on the benefits… Proportion of land, weather and a major railway line.

The Commander of the Army’s Southeast Division, Major General Leonard Wood, visited the location and was impressed.

Other posts you may enjoy:

  1. 4th Infantry Division – Campaigns & Decorations
  2. History of the 4th Infantry Division: 10 Cool Facts
  3. Top 10 Cool Facts About the Revolutionary War
  4. Top 10 Famous Soldiers from the Revolutionary War
  5. Army Officer Education and Professional Development Tips: 13 Must Read Articles

#6: Broken Promises Led To The Deaths Of Many Soldiers

When the Army agreed to establish Camp Greene, city leaders promised to provide plumbing for sewage to allow for toilets and showers. They never did and sanitary conditions were terrible. An influenza spread around the Camp and many soldiers died.

#7: A Trench Infrastructure

The Army’s focus was on training soldiers for what they would soon face: Trench Warfare. Over 5 miles of trenches were dug to reenact those they would find in Europe.

#8: Built In 6 Weeks

The primary camp was built in just 6 weeks after the Army agreed to Charlotte. There are some amazing figures with that…

  • 2,000 buildings
  • 2,000 bed hospital
  • 1 mile of horse stables
  • a YMCA
  • a post office
  • a bakery that made 40,000 loaves of bread daily
  • 25 miles of roads
  • 50 miles of water piping
  • 300 miles of electricity wire

And the craziest fact: the lumber used could have made a 2 foot walkway from Charlotte to San Francisco, California.

#9: Some Discrimination

One thing Charlotte residents were not expecting were black soldiers. At one point, 14,000 African American troops from Massachusetts and Connecticut were stationed there which did cause a stir in Charlotte.

While some people showed discrimination, most realized these men were also fighting for the same cause and changed their opinions.

#10: Now

If you stroll into the wooded areas, you can find remnants of the Camp. But many will tell you to not do so after dark. They say that soldiers who died haunt the area.

But Camp Greene has been turned into a beautiful park.

  • 27 acres
  • 12 tournament-grade basketball courts
  • Covered full-court basketball court
  • Bike/walking trails
  • Small pond

Final Thoughts

Many great soldiers trained at Camp Greene.

If you get the opportunity, Charlotte is a beautiful city and while there, go check out Camp Greene.

Thank you for visiting and leave any questions or comments below.

Camp Greene from JB Horn Film on Vimeo.

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Greene
  2. https://www.ourstate.com/camp-greene/
  3. https://www.mecknc.gov/ParkandRec/Parks/ParksByRegion/CentralRegion/Pages/Camp%20Greene.aspx
  4. https://clclt.com/theclog/archives/2012/10/27/question-the-queen-city-what-lurks-in-the-woods-of-camp-greene
  5. https://www.ncpedia.org/wwi-boot-camp-charlotte

About The Author

Greg Boudonck is a full time freelance writer and the author of over 50 books. He served in the United States Army in the early 1980’s and enjoys writing about military subjects. You can see Greg’s books on Amazon by searching his name and you can also visit his website at Lancerlife.com.

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