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Camp Grant Pictorial History Brochure (1917)

World War One Illinois Cantonment Pictorial Photographs:

Grounds and Barracks | The Mess and Birds Eye Views | Life at the Firing Range | Sports and Exercise | Training and Camp Buildings | Other Landmarks | YMCA

Being a Pictorial History of the Miracle of the Illinois Cantonment

Camp Grant Pictorial History Brochure from 1917

On June 24, 1917, the work of building suitable quarters for housing, and providing drill grounds, rifle ranges, etc., for the training of this division of 43,000 men of the new National Army, was begun.

In a little more than three months after the erection of the first building, 180 barracks were ready for the reception of the first contingent of the selected men who are now being trained.

And in the short period of five months the corn fields, pastures, and orchards had been razed, and in their stead long rows of bare, unpainted structures had sprung up; macadamized roads built; sewers put in; heating, lighting and water systems installed; bridges built; and a remount station and rifle range constructed.

The post was christened Camp Grant in honor of General Ulysses S. Grant.

The total cost of the camp was $7,000,000. The largest number of men working at any one time was 8,500, but it is estimated at least 50,000 individuals worked on the big job.

The total area of the camp is 5640 acres, within which eighteen miles of water pipe were laid, through which the camp water plant forces 6,000,000 gallons of water per day. Three hundred and fifty miles of electric wire was strung and is in use.

The 1,520 buildings have an aggregate floor space of 2,200 acres, and if placed end to end would reach a distance of twenty-five miles. Forty-eight million feet of lumber, 680 tons of nails and 21,000 barrels of cement were used in constructing the buildings and their foundations. In all, 4,500 car- loads of material were hauled into camp by railroads.

Fifty-nine steam-heating plants furnish heat for the cantonment through a system of thirty-two miles of pipes. Each of the big power plants contains a battery of from two to ten 250-horsepower boilers.

In contrast to the heating system, an ice plant turns out 20,000 tons of ice a day to supply the cold-storage house and the refrigerators of the 180 barracks. From these barracks, fifteen tons of rubbish are carted away each day to the garbage incinerator to be burned. Most of the garbage from the camp is sold to nearby farmers for feeding to hogs.

The base hospital unit contains 61 buildings which were erected at the cost of $500,000. Thousands of dollars worth of equipment and supplies have been purchased for the hospital.

Camp Grant has a remount depot which has a capacity of 5,000 animals. At this station, animals for the army are assorted and assigned to the various army posts in the zone of the central department at Chicago. In connection with the remount depot is a school for blacksmiths. The remount depot buildings cover fifteen acres.

Fire protection for the military city is secured through an efficient fire department, housed in three fire stations. Two hundred and sixty-two fire hydrants are provided throughout the camp, and 18,000 pails and as many fire extinguishers are placed in the various buildings for emergency use.

Eighteen miles of macadam road and a pile bridge 1,000 feet in length with an eighteen-foot driveway, were built. Connecting with the camp system of roadways are two cement roads leading from Rockford to the cantonment.

Information About Brochure

  • Year Published: 1917
  • Number of Pages: 16 (Unpaginated)
  • Number of Photographs: 39
  • Dimensions: 26.7 x 19 cm
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Camp Grant : United States Army World War I Cantonment

Cantonment Life Illustrated - 1918


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