Walter Mason Camp

Walter Mason Camp (1867–1925) was an American editor, author, railroad expert and historical researcher.

Walter Mason Camp
Walter Mason Camp.png
Born(1867-04-21)April 21, 1867
Camptown, Pennsylvania
DiedAugust 3, 1925(1925-08-03) (aged 58)
Kankakee, Illinois
OccupationWriter, editor
Emeline L. F. Sayles
(m. 1898)


Walter Mason Camp was born in Camptown, Pennsylvania on April 21, 1867.[1] He was educated at the Pennsylvania State College. From 1897 until his death, he was the editor of The Railway and Engineering Review (later renamed Railway Review) a railroad construction and engineering journal, published in Chicago. He was the author of the authoritative 1903 2-volume text Notes on Track, which continued to be a standard reference in the classroom and in the field for many years. Camp married Emeline L. F. Sayles in 1898. They had no children. He died unexpectedly at Kankakee, Illinois on August 3, 1925.[2]

Camp is also well known for interviewing hundreds of both white and Native American participants in the American Indian Wars of the second half of the 19th century. Although Camp wrote only a few brief papers and speeches, his interview notes are important source material, particularly for researchers dealing with the Battle of the Little Bighorn. For many years after Camp's death, his notes were inaccessible, but most are now held in public collections, including at the Brigham Young University Library in Provo, Utah,[3] the University of Colorado at Boulder Library, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument at Crow Agency, Montana, at the Indiana University Bloomington Library,[4] and the Denver Public Library[5] in Denver, Colorado. These collections also include photographs and maps. Some material remains in private hands. Much of the material (mostly that related to the Battle of the Little Bighorn) has now been published. Camp visited the Little Bighorn Battlefield many times, in the company of such notable participants as Curley, Peter Thompson, Gen. Edward Settle Godfrey, Sgt. Daniel Knipe, Stanislaus Roy, George Herendeen, and others. He used his engineering skills to survey and map the battlefield and Custer's route to it. Camp also rediscovered a number of "lost" battle sites, including those of the Battle of Slim Buttes and the Wagon Box Fight.


  • Hammer, Ken, ed. Custer in '76: Walter Camp's Notes on the Custer Fight Norman, University of Oklahoma, 1976. ISBN 978-0806122793
  • Liddic, Bruce R and Paul Harbaugh, eds. Custer & Company: Walter Camp's Notes on the Custer Fight. Lincoln: Bison Books, 1998. ISBN 978-0739402016
  • Camp, Walter Mason. Camp, Custer, and the Little Bighorn : a collection of Walter Mason Camp's research papers. ed. by Richard G. Hardorff. El Segundo, CA : Upton and Sons, 1997. ISBN 978-0912783253
  1. ^ The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. XVI. James T. White & Company. 1918. p. 393. Retrieved December 12, 2020 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Walter Mason Camp". Maintenance of Way Bulletin. Vol. 14 no. 4. Sterling, Illinois. September 1925. p. 14. Retrieved December 12, 2020 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Camp Collection at Brigham Young University
  4. ^ Camp Collection at Indiana University Bloomington
  5. ^ Collection at the Denver Public Library

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