Camp Bragg was established in 1918 as an artillery training ground. The Chief of Field Artillery, General William J. Snow, was seeking an area having suitable terrain, adequate water, rail facilities, and a acclimate and the year-round training, and he decided that the area now known as Fort Bragg met all of the desired criteria. Camp Bragg was named to honor a native North Carolinian, Braxton Bragg, who commanded Confederate States Army forces in the Civil War.
The aim was for six artillery brigades to be stationed there and $6,000,000 was spent on the land and cantonments. There was an airfield on the camp used by aircraft and balloons for artillery spotters. The airfield was named Pope Field on April 1, 1919, in honor of First Lieutenant Harley H. Pope, an airman who was killed while flying nearby. The work on the camp was finished on November 1, 1919.
The original plan for six brigades was abandoned after World War I ended and once demobilization had started. The artillery men, and their equipment and material from Camp McClellan, Alabama, were moved to Fort Bragg and testing began on long-range weapons that were a product of the war. The six artillery brigades were reduced to two cantonments and a garrison was to be built for Army troops as well as a National Guard training center. In early 1921 two field artillery units, the 13th and 17th Field Artillery Brigades, began training at Camp Bragg. The same year, the Long Street Church and six acres of property were acquired for the reservation. The church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Due to the post-war cutbacks, the camp was nearly closed for good when the War department issued orders to close the camp on August 7, 1921. General Albert J. Bowley was commander at the camp and after much campaigning, and getting the Secretary of War to visit the camp, the closing order was cancelled on September 16, 1921. The Field Artillery Board was transferred to Fort Bragg on February 1, 1922.