Greenville in Greenville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
In Memory of 81st Wildcat Division / Camp Sevier
81st Wildcat Division
which trained at Camp Sevier,
Apr to July 1918
Maj. Gen. Chas. J. Bailey,
[Plaque at foot of marker]:
Camp Sevier, a WWI National Guard training center, was located on 1900 acres off Lee Road, three and 1/2 miles east of downtown Greenville. The Thirtieth Division, 30,000 strong, was formed and trained here in 1917-1918. It was composed of the National Guard from the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. It became known as the Old Hickory Division and fought in Belgium and France. Twelve medals of Honor were awarded to members of the Thirtieth, six of which were to South Carolinians. The 118th Infantry Regiment had more medals of honor recipients than any other regiment during WWI. More than half of all British awards to Americans went to members of the Thirtieth.
"The Division accomplished every task assigned to it. Not a single failure is recorded against it. Not a scandal occurred to mar the glory of its achievements. Duty to God, to country, and to home, well done is the highest standard humanly attainable. The officers and men of the Thirtieth Division did their duty superbly. Their deeds and the example which they set are imperishable.
Maj. Gen. E.M. Lewis
Commander 30th Division
Location. 34° 51.321′ N, 82° 23.816′ W. Marker is in Greenville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker is on North Main Street. Touch for map. The marker is part of a park designed to remember those with military service. It is near the entrance to Springwood Cemetery. Marker is in this post office area: Greenville SC 29601, United States of America. Marker is in this post office area: Greenville SC 29601, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. SC Ordinance of Secession (here, next to this marker); Confederate Armory (here, next to this marker); Kershaw Brigade (a few steps from this marker); General Robert E. Lee (within shouting distance of this marker); Greenville County Confederate Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Eighty Unnamed Soldiers (within shouting distance of this marker); Mrs. James Williams (within shouting distance 90 mm M-2 Anti-Aircraft Gun (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); 75 mm Field Gun / 3 inch M1903 (about 700 feet away); Max Heller Legacy Plaza (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Greenville.
Also see . . .
1. The Wildcat Division. There may be some confusion caused by the proximity of these two markers as to which division was the "Wildcat Division". Interestingly, there was a similiar confusion back in late 1918. This letter from the 81st Division's Chief of Staff to the editor of The New York Times, published on November 25th, 1918, helps sets the record straight. (Submitted on June 6, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
2. 81st Infantry Division. The 81st Infantry Division was a unit of the United States Army in World War I and World War II. (Submitted on March 13, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
3. The Old North State and 'Kaiser Bill', North Carolinians in World War I. Brief history and photographs of the 81st Wildcat Division. (Submitted on June 6, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.)
4. Charles Justin Bailey. Charles Justin Bailey (June 21, 1859-September 21, 1946) was an American soldier, born in Tamaqua, Pa. (Submitted on May 17, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
5. Panoramic Images of Camp Sevier. Photos published between 1917 and 1918. (Submitted on March 12, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
6. Quarantine Camp Sevier. New York Times article dated November 17, 1917 announcing the "routine" quarantining of Camp Sevier due to an outbreak of measles. (Submitted on March 12, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
7. Camp Sevier Marker. One of two markers located in Taylors, S.C., dedicated to Camp Sevier. (Submitted on March 13, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
8. Camp Sevier Marker. One of two markers located in Taylors, S.C., dedicated to Camp Sevier. (Submitted on March 13, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
9. 30th Infantry Division. The 30th Infantry Division was a unit of the United States Army in World War I and World War II. (Submitted on March 13, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
1. Camp Sevier
Camp Sevier lies about 4 miles northeast of Greenville, S.C. The camp is situated on a low flat ridge which runs from northeast to southwest. The north and south slopes afford ample drainage for any part of the area occupied by the troops.
This was a National Guard camp. The first troops sent to this camp during 1917 were the
The troops were quartered in tents.
The water supply was obtained from watersheds on the east side of Paris Mountain. It was collected into five reservoirs. Bacteriological analysis showed it to be badly contaminated with coli bacilli. The entire supply was chlorinated by the city of Greenville. Until this was done Lyster bags were used for sterilizing the water.
A comparatively large number of colored troops served in this camp after the month of July. There were 27,652 admissions during the year, the rate being 1,401.95. In January it was 1,313.70. It increased to 1,429.68 in February as result of an increase in the number of cases of mumps, and then declined. The low rate for the camp was
Four hundred and forty-one deaths were reported for enlisted men, the rate being 22.36. In January it was 12.62. This high rate was caused by 14 deaths attributed to pneumonia. The low rate for the camp was in the month of November, when there were only 4 deaths, with a rate of 12.12. In September the rate was 67.99 and in October 102.91.
There were 2,512 enlisted men discharged during the year with a rate of 127.36. In the month of November alone there were 1,496 men discharged, the rate being 791.53.
The loss of time amounted to 378,083 days, the rate being 52.52. The high rate for the year was in July, 110.44. This month also had a high admission rate, when there was a comparatively large number of cases of measles and mumps, with a small strength. The next highest rate was for October, the influenza month, when it was 80.14.
Measles, which had been present in such an extensive epidemic form during the latter part of 1917, was present throughout the year, though never at any time becoming a matter of such grave concern as during the year
Mumps, the number of cases of which had been increasing very markedly toward the latter part of 1917, swept through the camp in epidemic form during the first three months of 1918. In the month of April there was also a number of admissions and in the month of July a considerable number. The total for the year was 4,855, with a rate of 246.15.
Cerebrospinal meningitis was present in every month during the year. The greatest number of cases occurred in October, when there were 12 cases. There were 41 cases, with 11 deaths for the year.
Scarlet fever caused 40 admissions, with only 1 death. Thirty-five of these admissions were in the months of February, March, and April. Only two cases of diphtheria occurred in the entire year.
Primary broncho and lobar pneumonia, which have been matters of such grave concern during the latter part of 1917, causing a number of admissions as well as a number of deaths, caused a larger number of admissions and greater number of deaths during the first part of 1918. These two diseases declined in March, but increased again in April, when they again declined with a slight increase in June. There was a number of admissions for these diseases throughout the year, the total number of lobar pneumonia
— Submitted March 13, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
2. About Camp Sevier
On 6 April 1917 the United States declared war on the Central Powers. Governor Manning moved swiftly to make sure that South Carolina did its part, but support for the war was not unanimous. In Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, and Charleston Counties there was strong antiwar sentiment among those of German and Irish descent.
The State Council of Defense published a South Carolina Handbook on the War that reflected the zeal with which Americans went to war to overthrow "the barbarous rule of brutal Prussia." Either support the war or be labeled a traitor. There could be no middle ground: "Those who are not for us are against us." A corps of 200 business and civic leaders (called "Four Minute Men") were prepared to speak anywhere, anytime. The speakers' bureau, like much of the material in the pamphlet, was part of a coordinated national campaign to mobilize the home front. Carolinians, white and black, rallied to the flag, but because of Jim Crow all war support
The onset of war made civic leaders anxious to have military bases located near their towns. Greenville and Columbia had learned during the Spanish-American War how much money military installations could pump into a community. A combination of local initiative and the state's political influence with the Wilson administration resulted in the authorization for army training bases at Camp Jackson (Columbia), Camp Sevier (Greenville), and Camp Wadsworth (Spartanburg). The Marine Corps facility at Paris Island and the Charleston Navy Yard bustled with increased activity. Concern for servicemen's health led to federal pressure that closed down heretofore tolerated red-light districts in Charleston and Columbia.
The state's national guard units were incorporated into the 30th (Old Hickory) Division that trained at Camp Sevier. Many Carolinians were members of the 81st (Wildcat) and the 371st Regiment, 93d (Negro) divisions that trained at Camp Jackson. All these units
— Submitted March 13, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Categories. • Military • War, World I •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 5, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 6,730 times since then and 217 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 5, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 3. submitted on September 9, 2008, by Stanley and Terrie Howard of Greer, South Carolina. 4, 5. submitted on March 13, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 6, 7. submitted on September 13, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 8. submitted on May 17, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 9. submitted on September 15, 2012, by Kevin Kling of Marietta, Georgia. 10. submitted on March 13, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 11. submitted on November 24, 2013, by Rhonda Gore Etherden of Conway, South Carolina. 12. submitted on September 13, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 13. submitted on May 17, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.