The Living Uncle Sam
Original Author: Mole & Thomas
Created: January 13, 1919
Medium: Photograph
Publisher: Richmond Times-Dispatch

“The Living Uncle Sam”””

At its peak during World War I (1914–1918), Camp Lee, near Petersburg, Virginia, held the third-largest population in Virginia behind only the cities of Richmond and Norfolk. The camp successfully trained and deployed the 80th Division for combat in France during World War I, followed by the 37th Division, whose training was halted by the end of the war. In January 1919, two months after the armistice that unofficially ended much of the fighting, more than 19,000 soldiers gathered to create the "Living Uncle Sam," photographed here. After the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919, the Army closed the camp and the Commonwealth of Virginia assumed control of the facility. It reopened in 1940 as the nation remobilized for World War II (1939–1945), and was renamed Fort Lee in the 1950s.