The Tank Corps was new. There were no precedents except in basic training and I was the only officer in the command. Now I really began to learn about responsibility.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
At Ease: Stories I Tell to Friends
During World War I, the fields of Pickett's Charge became crowded with tents, barracks, workshops, and firing ranges. In March of 1918, Captain Dwight D. Eisenhower had been sent here to take command of Camp Colt, the home of the U.S. Army's new technology, the tank. It was Eisenhower's first independent command. His job - "to take in volunteers, equip, organize, and instruct them" - was made more difficult at first, because he had no tanks!
The fledgling Tank Corps practiced with machine guns mounted to flatbed trucks. They learned to repair engines and to tap out Morse code. By summer the soldiers practiced with three new Renault tanks. In the eight months before war's end, as many as 10,000 men passed through Camp Colt. Eisenhower's leadership here earned him the Distinguished Service Medal.
(Sidebar): Congress established Gettysburg National Military Park as a unit of the War Department in 1895. The army often used the old battlefield as a training camp. Camp Colt extended from where the housing development is on your right to Big Round To in the distance.