J. R. PEDEN PHOTOGRAPHER/FURMAN UNIVERSITY,/SPECIAL COLLECTIONS AND ARCHIVES LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
JULY 1917-APRIL 1918 TRAINING AT CAMP SEVIER, S.C.
EDWARD was a 24-year-old bachelor
when he enlisted on July 25, 1917.
Now 6-foot-2, 230 pounds and
very athletic, he arrived at Camp Sevier in
September. He and thousands of other recruits
were issued two blankets apiece and housed
in canvas tents amid heavily wooded acres in
the low mountains of western South Carolina.
They endured a frigid winter, with tempera-tures
frequently below zero, and trained in
snow and mud. It would be fortuitous.
In the drafty camp tents after dark, the
only light was by candle. Despite it being
so cold the ink froze in its bottle, grandson
Ed Hawfield says Edward’s letters, written by
No. 2 pencil, exhibited flawless penmanship
and were easy to read.
SEPT. 12, 1917
From a three-page (large pages) typewritten
letter sent to his family from Camp Sevier.
“When we roll out of our bunks at 5:15 a.m. it
feels as cold as we ever have in February at home,
so that sweater Momma is making for me will
come in mighty handy and if no one is going to
wear that big heather mixture sweater I wore last
winter, I can use that very well too, because they
haven’t issued us any heavy clothing at all and
there is no indication that we will get any time
soon. You see we have about 14,000 in camp
here now and more coming in every day, so it is
quite a proposition to clothe them …”
From top: The view southwest from stockade tower no. 1, Camp Sevier,
Greenville, S.C., Sept. 11, 1918. A group of soldiers at Camp Sevier, circa
1918. Soldiers advancing by squads during training at Camp Sevier.
SOUTH CAROLINA ROOM ARCHIVES/GREENVILLE COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM
WBM november 2019