Camp Nelson Partners With National Park Service On Commemoration







May 17, 2014 – Camp Nelson, KY – On May 24, 2014, as part of the nationwide Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration, the National Park Service is partnering with communities North and South to commemorate the 1864 Overland Campaign in Virginia when Lt. General Ulysses S. Grant embarked on a campaign to destroy General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. The innovative program called, Reverberations, connects three national parks in Virginia—Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania, Richmond, and Petersburg—and eight communities around the country, including Jessamine County’s Camp Nelson, to illustrate the devastating impact of the Civil War on communities across the nation. Partner communities, both North and South, will join the National Park Service to hold special programs and simultaneous commemorative evening ceremonies to vividly illustrate how the 1864 Overland Campaign reverberated beyond the Virginia countryside into communities across the nation. The Campaign’s battles were devastating for soldiers in the field and each death or wound rippled outward, causing heartbreak in localities North and South that these soldiers called home.

Camp Nelson, one of the largest Union recruiting and training centers for African American soldiers or United States Colored Troops (USCT) as they were called, is associated with Petersburg where the attacks brought an end to the Overland Campaign and Grant laid siege to Lee’s army. The bloody conflict around Richmond and Petersburg in 1864-65, led to the end of the Civil War in April 1865 at Appomattox Court House.

From the opening action of the siege to being among the first troops to enter Richmond and Petersburg when the cities fell on April 3, 1865, Camp Nelson USCT’s contribution was critical to the Union’s success in the nearly ten-month long campaign. Reverberation activities at Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park include presentations starting at 11 AM and again at 3 PM on the 114th and 116th USCT who were recruited and trained at Camp Nelson and served at the siege; a commemorative ceremony for the USCT family members who died at Camp Nelson at 1 PM; an evening artillery salute/fire at 6:30 PM; and a commemorative ceremony at Camp Nelson National Cemetery at 8 PM recognizing the USCT from Camp Nelson and from across the country who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The event and Park tours are free and open to the public. Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park is located on US 27, six miles south of Nicholasville. The Park offers tours of the White House which served as Officers Quarters, Interpretive Center with Museum; recreated Fort; recreated Barracks with Research Library; and, more than five miles of Interpretive Trails. For more information on the event and Camp Nelson visit or call 859-881-5716. For more information on the evening program at Camp Nelson National Cemetery call 859-885-5727 or National Park Service Ranger Grant Gates at 804-732-3531 x202

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