An Incipient City
At its height, Camp Nelson experienced one of the largest concentrations of people in Kentucky during the Civil War. The US Army base served a multitude of roles: logisitical and supply depot; hospital and convalescent camp; horse and mule rehabilitation center; and major recruitment centers for soldiers in the Department of the Ohio. It fueled military operations in East Tennessee, Western Virginia, and Georgia. Tens of thousands of soldiers, civilians, refugees, and enslaved people found themselves at the 4,000 acre post during its 3-year existence [1863-66]. Camp Nelson was comprised of multiple places, both small and large, and designed for military and civilian use. Each one provides an insight into the struggle to determine the course of America's future during and after the Civil War. The military installation is long gone, but the places that defined Camp Nelson continue to reveal the stories of people who worked, struggled, died, and survived here.
Last updated: January 28, 2023