For over 200 years the Upcountry sent her sons and daughters to serve in the military and has provided a home for several training camps.
The tradition started before the American Revolution, when militia troops trained at Fort Prince George.
Throughout the years residents understood the benefits of having troops nearby. Local businessmen sold land for camps, built houses, outfitted and entertained the soldiers.
Come camp payday, money “bounced from one merchant’s cash register to another.”
You can learn more about it at the Upcountry History Museum in downtwon Greenville. Admission is $5 adults, $4 seniors, $3 children 4-18 and free for children age 3 and under.
Disclaimer: historic data and pictures in this post are from the museum exhibits.
During the Spanish American War of 1898, horses were still the main mode of transportation. Sick soldiers recovered at Camp Wetherill in a hospital tent that had a wooden floor. Other places had tents with dirt floors that sometimes turned into mud when it rained.
Bootcamp humor – The unusual cold winter of 1898-1899 surprised soldiers from northern states who expected to lie around in the shade of palms trees and gorge on oranges and bananas.
During World War I soldiers were required to shave to allow gas masks to fit properly. In 1901 Gillette developed the safety razor, a welcome improvement over the dangerous straight edge razor. The army bought millions of the new razor and blades for soldiers.
The mess kit or “meat can” contained eating utensils and a frying pan that could be used as a plate. After the meal the utensils went back into the pan, the cover slipped on, and the handle slid across to secure it.
American soldiers used a Coupon Book containing one, two and five francs, to pay the French luxury tax on items purchased there. The Army Air Force published an Emergency Book with jungle and desert survival techniques to airmen deployed to the Pacific and Africa battle fronts.
During World War I, medical personnel at Camp Wadsworth took part in stretcher drills to learn how to care for casualties. Did you know? Camp Wadsworth sent out a call for dried peach pits which provided the carbon for gas masks filters.
During World War II at Camp Croft, troops conducted war maneuvers and prepared for battle in the European and Pacific fronts in. Camp Croft also housed German POWs who picked peaches, fixed jeeps and cooked their own food.
Women were able to serve their country as WACS (Women’s Army Corps), at Greenville Army Air Base during World War II.
More interesting things to see at the museum and surrounding areas:
• “Mud, Sweat & Cheers Football in the Palmetto State, 1889-Present”, a fun filled exhibit dedicated to over 120 years of football in South Carolina. Check out the heated Gamecocks – Tigers rivalry, the early days rules and legends and interesting collectible items.
• Be a textile worker in the early 1900s (Greenville used to be the “Textile Capital of the World”)
• Be inspired by the impressive collection of paintings by Southern artists at the Museum of Art. Right now you will be delighted to see exquisite watercolor work by Mary Whyte and Andrew Wyeth. Admission is free.
• Enjoy the historic 1838 Kilgore-Lewis home and garden, one of the oldest and best preserved houses in the area. Admission is free.
Filed under: Greenville, Historic Carolina Sites, Museums | Tagged: Army Air Base in South Carolina, best downtown Greenville attractions, fun Greenville activities under $10, Greenville fun things to do, Greenville historic sites, Spanish American War camp, Upcountry army training camps, Upcountry history museum military exhibit, War training camps for women, World War I II training camps photos, WW II military outposts in South Carolina, WWI army uniform mess shaving kit |