Splendid Service: Camp Greene & the Making of a New South City
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Camp Greene—the Charlotte-based military facility that mobilized and trained nearly 60,000 U.S. soldiers for the rigors of overseas combat in the European theater of World War I. As the United States prepared for battle, 32 training camp sites were identified and constructed across the country. The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and local business leaders lobbied for the camp, which they knew would benefit the city financially. Charlotte was selected over Fayetteville, Wilmington and Athens.
Named for Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene, the camp influenced Charlotte’s population growth and invited an influx of new people to the region. Wartime industries thrived, employment opportunities were abundant; and Camp Greene revived the city’s flagging war-time economy.
Splendid Service: Camp Greene & the Making of a New South City explores the rich history of the people of Camp Greene and the enduring impact of the military base on Charlotte’s social, political and economic transformation during and after World War I. The 2,400-acre camp was erected in fewer than 90 days and was expanded several times to eventually encompass 6,000 acres. Camp Greene contained barracks, tents, an airfield, horse stables, a rifle range, post office, bakery, and 2,000-bed hospital complex which functioned during the height of the influenza endemic of 1918 to 1919. Utilities included water, electricity and sewage services. In short, the roughly 18-month existence of Camp Greene marked a critical turning point in Charlotte’s expansion as a New South city.
The Camp Greene story represents one of the most important, intriguing, and under-told chapters in 20th century Charlotte history. Levine Museum brings this story to life for audiences who are familiar with it, but also for audiences who are not. Splendid Service: Camp Greene & the Making of a New South City is crafted as an experience for history buffs, traditional visitors, and for families.
The Dowd Foundation
Sally and Russell Robinson