Fort George G. Meade – About Fort George G. Meade, Maryland (PDF)



Condensed History of Fort George G. Meade, MD. ……. Fort George G. Meade in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, bears the name of the distinguished officer who fought in the Seminole, Mexican and Civil Wars and commanded the victorious Federal forces at Gettysburg. Situated in a beautiful, rolling country, the 25,000-acre reservation has an elevation varying from 150 to 300 feet above sea level. Excellent highways and two railroads connect the post with Baltimore and Washington, respectively sixteen and thirty miles distant. One of sixteen World War cantonments of the National Army, Camp Meade, as it was then known, was started in 1917 on ground over which wagon trains passed to join Braddock’s Ill-fated campaign in the French and Indian War and Lafayette rushed reinforcements to crown Washington’s success at Yorktown. Here in 1814 was assembled poorly equipped militia to defend unsuccessfully the young nation’s capital. Over the reservation In 1844 passed the crude single strand of wire through which was tapped Morse’s telegraph message “What Hath God Wrought?” The 79th Division, in 1917-18, was the major unit to use Camp Meade, which eventually had 1,460 temporary buildings to accommodate 42,000 men. Following the war, Camp Meade was used successively as a demobilization center, tank center and Infantry post. It was particularly active each summer with C.M.T.C. and R.O.T.C. training. The reservation in 1928 was made a regular army post and designated Fort Leonard Wood, but the following year, took Its present name. The temporary buildings were replaced by permanent brick structures of Colonial Maryland architecture. Post Headquarters is a reproduction of Dough-oregon Manor, home of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence. In 1940 the new cantonment area was started and additional land purchased. More than 2,000 frame barracks and other buildings have been erected, Including a 1500-bed hospital. Here the 29th and 76th Infantry Divisions trained while scores of other units – signal, ordnance, medical, quartermaster, tank, tank destroyer, mechanized cavalry, coast artillery – occupied the permanent section. Full facilities for all arms were installed to make an outstanding training center. Meanwhile Fort Meade became a major recruit reception center through which 400,000 men have poured. Recently the cantonment section became Army Ground Forces Replacement Depot No. 1. Other Important installations include the army’s oldest Bakers and Cooks School, a Prisoner of War Camp, Internal Security Training Center and Special Service Unit Training Center. On the post are a dozen recreation halls with stages for assemblies, lectures and entertainments. There are 4 service clubs with commodious dance floors, lounges, cafeterias and libraries. In conjunction with them are operated 3 guest houses for the convenience of wives, mothers and children. A huge gymnasium, athletic fields and 3 swimming pools afford additional recreational facilities. The post has six motion picture theatres equipped with stages and an amphitheater. There are twelve chapels throughout the post and two Red Cross headquarters. Other conveniences include the post laundry, bakery, cleaning and pressing shop, barber shops, telegraph and telephone offices, express agency, two post offices, a bank and twenty-two “P.X’s” and a weekly newspaper, The Fort Meade Post. Meade’s story is continued pictorially in the following pages – 32 pages