The latest batch of materials from Charlotte Mecklenburg Library includes an interesting look at life during World War I in North Carolina–documented through newspapers. The Caduceus, published from the Base Hospital at Camp Greene, gives a detailed look at the goings on of soldiers, doctors, and nurses during their time stationed in Charlotte.
Camp Greene held more than 40,000 troops, rapidly approaching the population of the entire city of Charlotte (46,000 in 1920). The Base Hospital was a 2000 bed complex, staffed by many doctors and nurses. Many of these enlisted personnel wrote articles for the paper, which was published every Saturday. Funded through the advertisements purchased by local businesses, publishers encouraged those living at the camp to patronize businesses located nearby.
What sets the Caduceus apart from other camp newspapers during the period is its documentation of events happening at the camp specifically, as opposed to the national and war updates given by other papers. From baseball games verses local teams to the performances of soldiers’ choral groups, the Caduceus documents many of the weekly activities of those based at the camp. The images below represent some of the many types of materials published in the paper.
Another fascinating feature of this batch is the weekly section authored by nurses serving at the camp. The “Army Nurse Corps News” offers a look into the lives of the many women who also served their county during WWI. These sections of the paper published news, poetry, and biographical information about nurses who were on the base, especially the new arrivals. This could be an excellent resource for researchers studying women’s roles in WWI, even outside of North Carolina.
To learn more about the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, please visit their contributor page or the homepage. To see more newspapers from North Carolina, including those that cover WWI in our state, please visit the North Carolina Newspapers Collection.