While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl

CAMP MACARTHUR. Camp MacArthur, a World War I training camp named for Gen. Arthur MacArthur on July 18, 1917, was on the northwestern side of Waco. Construction began on July 20, 1917, and in September of that year 18,000 troops arrived from Michigan and Wisconsin. The campsite proper covered 1,377 acres, although the entire tract of land reserved for the camp's use encompassed 10,699 acres. Facilities at the camp included a base hospital, administrative offices, and a tent camp, supplemented by 1,284 buildings. Troop capacity was 45,074, although the average strength of the force stationed at MacArthur during any given month did not exceed 28,000 troops. Construction costs were estimated at $5 million. The camp served as an infantry replacement and training camp, an officers' training school, and a demobilization facility. Among the units trained at the facility were the Thirty-second or Red Arrow Division, which saw combat in France in 1918. The camp was ordered salvaged on January 3, 1919, and materials from it were to be used in the construction of United States-Mexican border stations. The camp was officially closed on March 7, 1919, and the grounds became part of the city of Waco. A historical marker was placed at the former site of the camp headquarters in 1966.

Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War (3 vols., Washington: GPO, 1931–49; facsimile, Washington: United States Army, 1988). Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, "CAMP MACARTHUR," accessed August 12, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qcc27.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...