Take a History Walk at Camp Nelson National Monument

For episode four of the Jessamine History Walks podcast, the library partnered with Camp Nelson National Monument to bring you a self-guided audio tour of this historic park.

Ranger Steve T. Phan will lead you through nine different sites. As you walk, you’ll learn about the history, archaeology, and geology of Camp Nelson.

The Camp Nelson trails are open from dawn to dusk. There isn’t much shade along the way, so bring sunscreen and water. Wear comfortable shoes, as this walk is about 1.8 miles long.

Enter to Win

Through August 31, 2022, listen to the Camp Nelson History Walk and enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Entry forms are available in the main library.

About Camp Nelson National Monument

Jessamine County established and administered Camp Nelson starting in 1998. In 2018, Camp Nelson was declared a National Monument by Presidential Proclamation, becoming the 418th unit of the National Park Service. The park encompasses 465 acres and includes a visitor center, museum, walking trails, and the Fee Memorial Church.

The U.S. Army established Camp Nelson as a fortified base and supply depot in 1863 during the Civil War. The site evolved to become one of the largest recruitment and training centers for United States Colored Troops [U.S.C.T.] and served as a refugee camp for their families.

The monument is a testament to the courage, resiliency, and perseverance of those seeking freedom from slavery and pursuing self-determination during and after the Civil War.

Tour Highlights

On this tour, you’ll learn about:

The U.S. Army’s Officers’ Spring, an example of the karst landscape of the Bluegrass.

The Military Prison, which housed captured Confederates as well as U.S. soldiers and civilians, including women, who had been arrested for breaking military laws or rules.

Cemetery No. 1, which contains the graves of civilians and refugees.

Several remnant earthworks, including Fort Jackson, Fort Taylor, and Fort McKee.

And more!


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