Camp Nelson National Monument

National Park Service, Kentucky.

The US Army established Camp Nelson as a fortified supply depot in April 1863. The site evolved into a massive recruitment and training center for African American soldiers (United States Colored Troops) and a refugee camp for their families. Camp Nelson served as a shelter for civilians fleeing war and for enslaved people hoping to secure their freedom and aid in the destruction of slavery.


Camp Nelson National Monument is located along US 27 about 20 miles south of Lexington, Kentucky, 6 miles south of Nicholasville on US 27, and 16 miles north of Danville, KY on US 27. The Park entrance is on the original Danville Pike, adjacent to US 27, one mile north of the Camp Nelson National Cemetery.

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