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Object Name Print, Photographic
Caption Camp Wadsworth, Spartanburg, South Carolina
Description Black & white panoramic photograph of Camp Wadsworth, Spartanburg, South Carolina. Shows a WWI Army tent city surrounding central wooden buildings. Scattered soldiers, horse pulled wagon and vintage truck are visible. Published by J. D. Klass, Baltimore, MD. Passed by Committee of Public Information. Photo was removed from frame. Identical photo is 1985-1350-001.

There is a penciled letter dated August 4, 1918 on the back of the photo from George J. Rolfs, who was stationed at Camp Wadsworth. Message that he was having a fine time; he had seen a lot of things he never saw before; there was no training when it was raining; after quarantine was over they could go to town; tell Elsie to become a Red Cross nurse and he would get sick or tell her to write and that he took the cat for good luck. He promised another letter that should not be shown to women or girls because he wanted to tell what they actually did. He pointed out the Mess Hall on the photo and expected to go to France in about two months. (See Image 6).

George Jacob Rolfs was born May 13, 1894, son of Jacob & Augusta Draves Rolfs. He saw action in Germany during World War I. On October 21, 1919 he married Ella Albrecht. He worked as a mason and died January 26, 1955.

From 1917 to 1919, Camp Wadsworth served as one of America's premier U.S. Army World War I National Guard Mobilization and Training Camps. First established in 1917 near Spartanburg, Spartanburg County, South Carolina and named Camp Wadsworth 18 Jul 1917, after Brigadier General James S. Wadsworth, U.S. Civil War General who was mortally wounded 6 May 1864 during the Battle of the Wilderness.

Camp Wadsworth was one of sixteen U.S. Army National Guard Mobilization and Training Camps established in 1917 to train and integrate National Guard units for service in a U.S. Army division. It was established under the supervision of construction quartermaster Lt. Colonel John D. Kilpatrick on a site of about 2,000 acres. The camp was to have a capacity of about 56,000 officers and enlisted men that would become the 27th U.S. Infantry Division. The camp was completed in November 1917 at an eventual cost of $5,000,000.

The first commander of the camp was Major General John O'Ryan, NY National Guard, who formed the 27th U.S. Infantry Division and remained commander of the division until they mustered out. The New York Guard units arrived at the camp during September 1917 and the 27th was organized from these units at Camp Wadsworth on 1 Oct 1917. The 27th departed for France May-Jul 1918. Also trained at Camp Wadsworth: 6th U.S Infantry Division (10 May 1918 - 23 Jun 1918) and 96th U.S. Infantry Division (20 Oct 1918 - 7 Jan 1919)

At the end of the war the camp became a demobilization center on 3 Dec 1918. The camp was ordered salvaged on 4 Feb 1919 and closed 25 Mar 1919. The post headquarters operated until September 1919.
Catalog Number 1999-0150-001
Search Terms World War I
Military camps
Camp Wadsworth, Spartanburg, South Carolina
Subjects World War I
Military camps
People Rolfs, George J.