Military war camps at the Upcountry history museum in Greenville

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.

Uniform and personal items worn during WWI

Army uniform in WWI


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.

Military training camps in the 19th century

Horses were the main way of transportation during the Spanish American War

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.

Soldiers jokes on military training in the Upcountry

Guard duties humor

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.

Army soldiers personal items

The first safe razor used by military personnel during World War I

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.

The mess kit used in the army

The multi-purpose meat can, frying pan and dinner plate for the WWI army soldiers

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.

WWII personal items carried by soldiers

World War I French coupons, Emergency manual and medals

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.

Medical personnel doing stretch drills in the Upcountry

Medical drills at Camp Wadsworth during World war I

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.

Military exercises at Camp Croft in 1940s

Bombardment drills at Camp Croft during WWII

Women were able to serve their country as WACS (Women’s Army Corps), at Greenville Army Air Base during World War II.

Training camps for service women during World War II

Army women training in Greenville during WWII

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.

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Exciting Events at Musgrove Mill State Park: Battle of Blackstock by Candlelight, Ghost Tales, Christmas at Rose Hill Plantation

Musgrove Mill State Historic Site’s was the scene of a bloody American Revolution battle. “On Aug. 19, 1780, 200 Patriots rode to strike what they thought was an equal number of Loyalists at Musgrove Mill.

Musgrove Mill State Park - free admission

Musgrove Mill State Park - free admission

Instead, they found themselves badly outnumbered, the Tories having been joined by 300 provincial regulars from the British post at Ninety Six. Retreat was impossible, a frontal assault suicidal. So the Patriot forces took a strong defensive position and lured the Loyalists into a fierce fight that turned into a near rout after the British attack collapsed.” – Musgrove Mill State Historic Site.

Musgrove Mill State Historic Site regularly holds special events, including encampments and living history programs. Here are some exciting events coming up this fall and over the Holidays:

Archaeology Day at Musgrove’s Mill – October 18, 2008, 10 AM – 4:00 PM
Have you ever wondered how archaeologists find and identify artifacts from American Revolutionary War battlefields like Musgrove’s Mill? Visit Musgrove Mill State Historic Site to learn about the methods used and what studies have been done at the site to shed light on this important battle. Project archaeologists will be on-site showing and discussing how they found and identified artifacts. Archaeological tours will be offered throughout the day and kids will be “digging” for artifacts.

Tales of Union County at Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site – October 24 and 25, 2008, 7 PM – 10 PM
Journey into the spooky past with the “Tales of Union County”! Enjoy local ghostly tales and spine-chilling legends in a family setting with marshmallow and wiener roasts, apple bobbing, and other fall festival activities. Sip a cup of hot chocolate, or hot apple cider by the flickering light of the campfire listening to folklore and legends of the Upstate. There may even be a ghost or two…

Battle Of Blackstock’s Anniversary Celebration at Blackstock Battlefield Historic Site – November 22, 2008, 1 PM – 3 PM

Revolutionary War rifles replicas

Revolutionary War rifles replicas

Musgrove Mill State Historic Site will be presenting the Battle of Blackstock’s Anniversary Celebration, featuring an interpretive talk, a Ranger-led tour of the battlefield, a firing salute, and commemorations by the Daughters of the American Revolution.


The Battle By Candlelight
– December 13, 2008, 6 PM – 8 PM $4 adults, $3 seniors (65 and older), children 15 and under FREE
Experience Musgrove Mill State Historic Site in the dark! The event will feature candle-lit tours of the Musgrove Mill battlefield and historic presentations of the Battle of Musgrove’s Mill from the Patriot and British point of view.

Horse-shoe Robinson illustration by E.O.C. Darley

Horse-shoe Robinson illustration by E.O.C. Darley


While at the park learn about Mary Musgrove (the mill’s owner daughter, whose house ruins can still be seen inside the park) and other brave South Carolina women who sacrificed their life to help the Patriots win many battles during Revolutionary War. Mary became legendary with the 1835 publishing of the romantic novel “Horse-shoe Robinson: A Tale of the Tory Ascendancy”.

Christmas at Rose Hill Plantation – December 12-14, 2008, 6 PM – 8:30 PM, $5 per person
Come experience what Christmas was really like in the years before the Civil War. Enjoy the Rose Hill Plantation as it might have been in the antebellum era. The mansion will be decorated for the holiday season during the month of December, and there will be a special Evening Open House the weekend before Christmas: December 21 and 22 from 5 PM until 8 PM, and December 23 from 4 PM until 6 PM

Where
Musgrove Mill State Park is located off I-26 near Clinton, less than half an hour drive from Greenville. Admission to the park is FREE. Operation hours: Park 9 AM – 6 PM daily; Visitor Center 10 AM – 4 PM Monday through Friday, 10 AM – 5 PM Saturday and Sunday. More information at (864) 938-0100. Here is the custom Google Map with some incredibly fun and mostly free family attractions in the Upstate.

History buffs take the short drive to Cowpens National Battleground park, site to the most important Revolutonary War battle of the Southern Campaign. Admission is free.

Experience the extraordinary American Revolution battles at Musgrove Mill State Historic Site!