Fort Lee, VA HistoryFort Lee was created as Camp Lee in 1917. The fort was named for Confederate General Robert E. Lee and is located on historic grounds where European settlers first met the Powhatan Confederation in 1607 and where Captain John Smith set up some of the first plantations along the James River. In 1864, the Yankees marched across what is now Fort Lee to surprise the General Lee and cut him off from his supply base, launching a nearly ten-month long siege during the Civil War.
When war was declared on Germany, bringing the US into World War I, construction was started on what would become one of the largest, though unofficial, cities in Virginia at the time. Its main purpose was training and sending off soldiers to the Western Front. The large camp hospital saw over 10,000 soldiers during a flu epidemic in 1918. After the war, all buildings but the "White House", the temporary housing for the post commander, later known as Davis House, were destroyed after the camp was officially closed in 1921.
However, after 300,000 guardsmen and reservists were called up and 900,000 were to be drafted within the year for the oncoming war, the camp was rebuilt in 1940. Two months before Pearl Harbor, the Quartermaster School moved to Camp Lee from Philadelphia and trained over 300,000 quartermasters during the course of the war. After 1945, the number of troops decreased but Lee continued to train quartermasters and serve as an out-processing center for those leaving the military.
On April 15, 1950, the War Department decided to make Lee a permanent facility and it was renamed Fort Lee. At the same time, the Fort Benning Infantry School was redesignated to Lee's Quartermaster School and began to train airborne riggers. Tens of thousands were trained here in logistics for the Korean War.
The 1950s and 1960s saw the modernization of the old wooden buildings that had made up the former camp. The WWII era hospital was transformed to the modern-day Kenner Army Hospital. The first Quartermaster Officer Candidate School since WWII opened in 1966 and used the first widespread training of automated data processing. The U.S. Army Logistics Center was created here for integrating the Quartermaster, Transportation, Ordnance, and Missile and Munitions centers and schools.
As part of reorganization in 1990, the Logistics Center was renamed the U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM) which then became the Installation Commander. In 2000, as part of the ongoing fort renovations, the Quartermaster School's two departments were built brand new state-of-the-art facilities. The Army Women's Museum opened in 2001 with thousands of artifacts chronicling women's involvement throughout Army history.