Camp Shelby

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Camp Shelby (1917-Present) - First established on 18 Jul 1917 during World War I as a National Guard training post. Named after Col. Isaac Shelby, the first governor of Kentucky, a veteran of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Active military installation.

Camp Shelby Marker Front
Camp Shelby Marker Back

World War I

One of sixteen U.S. Army National Guard Mobilization and Training Camps established in 1917 to train and integrate National Guard units for service in a U.S. Army division. Camp Shelby was established in July 1917 under the supervision of construction quartermaster Major W. J. Howard. The camp was to have a capacity of about 36,000 officers and enlisted men that would become the 38th U.S. Infantry Division. The camp was completed about November 1917 with an eventual cost of $ 5,900,000. During the World War I build up the post grew to 1,206 buildings and hosted a tent city designed for 36,000 troops. after the war all the buildings were demolished but four.

The first commander of the camp was Major General William H. Sage (Cullum 2952) who organized the 38th U.S. Infantry Division on 25 Aug 1917 and initiated troop training. The 38th departed for France in Oct 1918 and upon arrival, it was skeletonized with troops used as replacements in other units. The 38th returned to the U.S. in December 1919 and was demobilized.

At the end of the war, the camp became a demobilization center and was closed. In 1934 the post reverted to the State of Mississippi for use as a National Guard training post.

World War II

Camp Shelby was federalized in 1940 in anticipation of World War II and expanded in size to 86,000 acres with much new construction. In addition to normal troop training functions, Camp Shelby trained WAC units, maintained a large convalescent hospital for returning wounded, and housed a German POW camp. The post closes shortly after the end of World War II.

Current Status

Mississippi Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby

Active Military Installation, Mississippi National Guard in Forrest County, Mississippi.

Location: Camp Shelby, Forrest County, Mississippi.

Maps & Images

Lat: 31.18634 Long: -89.25137

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 300'

GPS Locations:


  • Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 451
  • Ayres, Leonard Porter, The War with Germany: A Statistical Summary, U.S. War Department, 2nd Ed, 1919, 147 pages
  • Rinaldi, Richard A., The US Army in World War I - Orders of Battle, Tiger Lily Publications LLC, 2004, 244 pages
  • Brief Histories of Divisions, U.S. Army: 1917-1918, U.S.A. General Staff, June 1921, 92 pages


Visited: 19 Feb 2010

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