The Washington Post

Kentucky recruiting camp for black soldiers to get plaque marking historic landmark designation

A celebration is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. at Camp Nelson in Jessamine County, Ky., to mark the site’s designation as a National Historic Landmark. Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) is scheduled to speak at the ceremony, which will include a plaque dedication.

The designation covers 525 acres of the Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park, the original site of  Camp Nelson National Cemetery, as well as parts of the Hall community, an African American village that grew up on the former military site after the war ended.

The camp, established in 1863 as a depot, became a recruiting station for escaped slaves and freedmen. It was named in memory of Union Maj. Gen. William “Bull” Nelson who was instrumental in keeping Kentucky in the Union. He was shot and killed on Sept. 29, 1862, by Union Brig. Gen. Jefferson C. Davis after a confrontation in a hotel lobby. Nelson was unarmed at the time.


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