At the outbreak of the Civil War in early 1861, the trustees of Adrian College offered the use of campus buildings and grounds to the Fourth Michigan Volunteer Infantry for training. This became known as Camp Williams. The city of Adrian donated money to build a mess and dining hall. By early June ten companies of the Fourth had arrived and started their training. 1,025 soldiers came from Adrian, Ann Arbor, Dexter, Jonesville, Hudson, Sturgis, Monroe, Hillsdale, Tecumseh, and Trenton. On June 21 nearly 30,000 people came to town to see the Fourth depart for Washington. The ladies of Adrian presented Colonel Dwight Woodbury with the regimental flag. Sewn into the flag was "The Ladies of Adrian to the Fourth regiment Defend It."