Camp Alger (2)

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Camp Alger (2) (1898-1898) - A Spanish American War 2nd Corps training Camp first established in 1898 as Camp Harries near Dunn Loring, Fairfax County, Virginia. Named for Colonel George H. Harries, Colonel of the 1st District of Columbia Volunteer Infantry. Renamed Camp Alger after Russell A. Alger, Governor of Michigan (1885-1887), U.S. Secretary of War (1897-1899) and later U.S. Senator from Michigan (1902-1907). The Camp was abandoned in 1898. Also known as Camp Russell A. Alger.

History of Camp Alger

First established as Camp Harries, an organization camp for the 1st District of Columbia Volunteer Infantry on 13 May 1898. Renamed Camp Alger on 23 May 1898 as an organization and training camp for units of the 2nd Army Corps. The camp site had been a 1,400 acre farm called Woodburn Manor with no improvements.

The Second Army Corps was constituted on 7 May 1898. Major General William M. Graham, was assigned as commander on 16 May 1898. Command of the new post fell to Brigadier General Francis L. Guenther (Cullum 1833) until General Graham arrived and took command on 21 May 1898. General Graham commanded the post until it was abandoned. The Second Army Corps was to be composed wholly of state volunteer troops who had been mustered in at their respective state camps. They began arriving by rail on 18 May 1898.

The camp was hurriedly built and lacked an adequate water supply and basic sanitation needs when large numbers of troops started to arrive. Camp officers struggled to get enough wells dug to supply the drinking water, bathing water, cooking water and sanitary water needs of the almost 23,000 men sent to the camp. In the end some 40 wells were dug before an adequate supply was established. The sanitary facilities were not complete when troops began to arrive and the troops used the nearby woods as a latrine. The failure to establish sanitary facilities and discipline on arrival inevitably led to disease and finally, after an epidemic of typhoid fever broke out in early August, to its abandonment later in the month. The troops were moved to Camp George G. Meade in Pennsylvania and the camp was abandoned. The sale of the land began in September 1898.

2nd Army Corps Units at Camp Alger
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division

1 Moved between divisions and brigades
2 Saw combat in Puerto Rico
3 Saw combat in Cuba

Current Status

Marker only, no remains, Dunn Loring, Fairfax County, Virginia.


Location: Dunn Loring, Fairfax County, Virginia.

Maps & Images

Lat: 38.86589696 Long: -77.20300913

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Camp Alger (2) Picture Gallery

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