Accessibility Navigation:

Joseph B. Mathews Papers

Filing title: 
Mathews (Joseph B.) Papers

Joseph B. Mathews papers

Summary Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte
Mathews, Joseph B.
Joseph B. Mathews papers
Date [inclusive]
0.25 Linear feet 96 items
Mixed materials [Box]
Collection of 96 letters written by Private Joseph B. Mathews of the base hospital at Camp Greene to his girlfriend, Eva La Flamme in Massachusetts.

Preferred Citation note

Joseph B. Mathews Papers. J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Return to Table of Contents »

Biographical/Historical note

The United States government established Camp Greene upon entering World War I in 1917. Initial construction began on July 23, with completion on August 28; expansion continued throughout the war. Located on farmland near Sloan's Ferry and Tuckaseegee roads southwest of Charlotte, the camp took its name from the Revolutionary War hero and served a primary role in mobilizing and training troops. Expansion took the site from an initial 2,340 acres to over 6,000. Almost 2,000 buildings housed between 30,000 and 60,000 soldiers during its eighteen months of operation. The base hospital was one of the largest units attached to Camp Greene, covering sixty acres with accommodations for up to 1,000 patients. Demobilization began following the declaration of peace in November, 1918, and the camp officially closed in March, 1919. [For additional information, see Miriam Grace Mitchell and Edward Spaulding Perzel, The Echo of the Bugle Call: Charlotte's Role in World War I (1979); the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission's survey and research report on the James C. Dowd House; and the file on Camp Greene in the UNC Charlotte Special Collections Vertical File.]

Return to Table of Contents »

Scope and Contents note

The author of the letters, Joseph B. Mathews, a private from Massachusetts, worked in the base hospital. His letters provide insight into the operation of an early-twentieth century military medical facility. Letters of historical interest include those in which Mathews wrote about the quarantine of the base personnel and the citizens of Charlotte during the influenza epidemic of 1918. Because the letters are personal, they reflect the author's true feelings concerning the Army, his work at the hospital, the city of Charlotte, and the war.

Return to Table of Contents »

Administrative Information

Publication Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte 1998

9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC, 28223

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use note

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Purchased from Charles Apfelbaum, 1998.

Processing Information note

Processed by Robin Dorfer, 1998.

Return to Table of Contents »

Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Camp Greene (N.C.)
  • Charlotte (N.C.)
  • United States--History--1913-1921
  • United States--Armed Forces--Medical care--World War, 1914-1918

Personal Name(s)

  • Mathews, Joseph B.


  • Influenza
  • World War, 1914-1918--North Carolina--Charlotte

Return to Table of Contents »

Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Correspondence 1917 December 7 - 1918 August 31 

Scope and Contents note

Letters from Joseph Mathews from Camp Greene, including a letter (May 12, 1918) confirming the hospitality offered to the soldiers by Charlotteans during the war and letters (June 23 and August 13, 1918) concerning the size of the hospital, including a picture postcard of the hospital.

1 1

Correspondence 1918 September 5 - 1919 February 9 

Scope and Contents note

Letters from Joseph Mathews from Camp Greene, including a letter (September 14, 1918) expressing his disappointment in spending the war stateside; a letter (September 24, 1918) mentioning Spanish Influenza for the first time; a letter (October 5, 1918) confirming the quarantine and explaining some of the extra precautions taken by medical personnel during the epidemic; and a letter (November 12, 1918) noting the end of the quarantine, the conclusion of the war, and the way Charlotte celebrated the armistice.

1 2

Memorabilia 1917-1918 

Scope and Contents note

Includes programs from shows performed at the Academy Theatre and a January 1919 copy of "The Caduceus," the base hospital magazine.

1 3