Camp Sevier was a temporary cantonment site in Greenville County created to train federalized National Guard soldiers during World War I. It was named in honor of the Revolutionary War hero John Sevier, a leader of patriot militia at Kings Mountain and later governor of Tennessee. Soldiers from South Carolina began to occupy the site, four miles northeast of the city of Greenville, on July 10, 1917. Construction began a week later, and the formal establishment of the post took place on July 18. During the next two months, various National Guard units from South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee began to arrive at the camp. Before training could begin in earnest, land had to be cleared and facilities constructed. Once all units had reported, soldiers were trained in a range of common infantry skills and in new modes of warfare, such as gas defense and the use of the machine gun. Covering some nineteen hundred acres, the camp provided ample room for artillery instruction as well. This first group of guardsmen was formed into the Thirtieth, or “Old Hickory,” Division, which trained at the post until May 1918 and was followed by the Eighty-first and Twentieth Divisions, respectively. In all, an estimated 100,000 men had undergone vital training at Camp Sevier by the spring of 1919. With the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918, the post was designated as a demobilization center on December 3 and was closed as a military training facility on April 8, 1919.
Doyle, Alex C. Completion Report of Camp Sevier, Greenville, S.C. Greenville, S.C., 1919.
Huff, Archie Vernon, Jr. Greenville: The History of the City and County in the South Carolina Piedmont. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1995.
Withington, Frances Marshall. “Camp Sevier, 1917–1918.” Proceedings and Papers of the Greenville County Historical Society 4 (1971): 76–85.