Camp Van Dorn
Camp Van Dorn (1942-1945) - A U.S. Army infantry training post established in 1942 as Centreville Cantonment near Centreville in both Wilkinson County and Amite County, Mississippi. Renamed for Confederate Major General Earl Van Dorn, who was killed at Spring Hill, 8 May 1863, by a jealous husband, during the U.S. Civil War. The camp was declared surplus in 1945.
Camp Van Dorn was established on 20 Sep 1942 with the first troops arriving for training in November 1942. By 1945 the camp had a capacity of almost 40,000 enlisted personnel, over 2,000 officers on 41,843 acres of government-owned land.
Farnsworth Construction Company of New Orleans was the contractor for most of the building construction, some 1400 barracks, and other buildings. The barracks were one-story frame buildings covered with tarpaper. The barracks measured about 100' long and 20" wide with doors at each end and windows along each side. Other buildings included chapels, gyms, a hospital, and warehouses.
On 25 Mar 1944, the camp newspaper announced the arrival of several hundred German prisoners of war and that they would be used to in routine work in and around the government reservation. The prisoners were described as well-behaved and did not cause any problems.
Camp Van Dorn was declared surplus 1 Oct 1945. The 41,000-acre reservation was sold back to the prior owners in the summer of 1947.
Now on private property near Centerville in both Wilkinson County and Amite County, Mississippi, A roadside historical marker is located near where the main gate of the camp was located. There is a Camp Van Dorn Museum in Centerville with artifacts, photos, and maps relating to Camp Van Dorn. The Museum is currently closed due to the Covid pandemic but has numbers posted on the door to obtain access.(2020)
Visited: 4 Nov 2020