Camp Zachary Taylor was nearing completion in early September 1917. The huge construction project had begun only 10 weeks earlier, and was nearly ready to start receiving men. On September 8, 1917, the first wave of enlisted men arrived to join the US Army.
The first man to arrive at Camp Zachary Taylor, was Lester Monk from Illinois. Soon men from Kentucky and Indiana.
Over the next several weeks, men from the region flooded into Camp Zachary Taylor to report for duty.
The new recruits exchanged their civilian clothes for army uniforms, and training began almost immediately. By the end of the month, 40,000 men were stationed at Camp Taylor, which was the birthplace of the 84th Division. They would be known as the “Lincoln Division” or “Rail Splitters”, in honor of the area’s most notable son, Abraham Lincoln. The camp was not completely finished, but could be occupied.
The final finishing touches were completed on November 23, 1917, and officially turned over the US Army on December 1, 1917.
copyright 2017, Camp Zachary Taylor Historical Society