A publication of Appalachian Voices


A publication of Appalachian Voices

Across Appalachia

Camp Nelson Honored as a National Monument

In October 2018, President Donald Trump ordered the creation of the 380-acre Camp Nelson National Monument in Jessamine County, Ky., to honor black troops who fought in the Civil War. Established in 1863 by the Union, Camp Nelson became the nation’s third-largest recruitment center for black soldiers.

According to the National Park Service, the site offers insights into stories of the black soldiers who spent time at Camp Nelson.

“Thousands of enslaved African Americans risked their lives escaping to the camp, located within the slaveholding state of Kentucky, with the hope of securing their freedom and, ultimately, controlling their futures by contributing to the destruction of slavery,” states the monument’s website.

Visitors can view films about Camp Nelson and take guided tours around the camp to experience a recreation of the war barracks and the life of a Civil War soldier.

This was the first time Trump exercised the president’s power under the Antiquities Act to create a national monument. In December 2017, Trump used the act to downsize the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments in Southern Utah. — By Jamie Tews