Camp Nelson: In the Footsteps of Freedom

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.

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Planning a trip to Camp Nelson National Monument? Check out the tips from our park rangers about all the things you and your family can see and experience at the park! #FindYourPark

Civil War soldiers pose in the yard of the wagon and harness shops at Camp Nelson
Explore Camp Nelson

Walk in the footsteps of soldiers to discover the role Camp Nelson played during the Civil War.

A group of formerly enslaved men who became soldiers at Camp Nelson
Discover the history of Camp Nelson

More than 10,000 formerly enslaved men became soldiers at Camp Nelson in 1864 and 1865.

Rows of Civil War wagons lined up in a field.
What is a National Monument?

Learn how a site becomes a National Monument.

A stone obelisk on grass with trees in the background.
Hours of Operation

Visiting Camp Nelson National Monument this Spring and Summer? Check out our new operating hours!

Ranger showing an image to crowd of visitors in green cemetery field.
Ranger Tours

#FindYourPark and join NPS Rangers on guided tours of the park grounds.

A row of white tents in a large field
160th Camp Nelson

The NPS commemorates the 160th Anniversary of Camp Nelson with special events and programs! Join us over the next 4-years, 2023-26!

Last updated: September 5, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

6614 Old Danville Road Loop 2
Nicholasville, KY 40356


(859) 881-5716
The phone is usually answered 7-days per week, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Voice messages are checked regularly.

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