This site in Spartanburg County was one of sixteen chosen nationally as a U.S. Army training camp in the summer of 1917. It included two thousand acres on the western edge of Spartanburg. Because the first division assigned to the upstate camp was from New York, it was named after General James S. Wadsworth, a New York native who served with distinction in the Civil War. Military and civilian work crews constructed about one thousand buildings, including ten storehouses, a hospital unit with sixty five buildings, and six YMCA structures. The men lived in tents divided up into regiments, eight men to a tent. The first elements of the Twenty-seventh Division arrived in early September, and within a month the camp was occupied by mostly New Yorkers. By late autumn one visitor wrote that Spartanburg seemed full of people from the northern state. As training began in earnest, an artillery range was created further west in the Greenville hills. The influx of arrivals put a strain on the upstate town, creating crowded conditions and housing shortages but plenty of business. School enrollments rose in a matter of weeks by twenty percent. When the Twenty-seventh Division finally left for Europe, the Sixth and then the Ninety-sixth Divisions replaced it. After the usual celebrations following the announcement of the Armistice, plans were soon implemented to deactivate the camp. Local appeals to keep the camp open failed, and it closed on March 25, 1919.
Writer’s Program. South Carolina. A History of Spartanburg County. 1940. Reprint, Spartanburg, S.C.: Reprint Company, 1976.