Explore the fascinating story of African-American soldiers during the Civil War, one of the most difficult conflicts in America’s history.
No other place on earth can tell the story of African-American soldiers during the Civil War like Kentucky. From the enslaved seeking their freedom to freedmen wanting to fight for the right of all African-Americans to be free, this story is one of courage, perseverance and patriotism in the face of unimaginable challenges.
An excellent starting place is Camp Nelson Heritage National Monument in Nicholasville. Originally established as a Union Army supply depot, Camp Nelson went on to become a major recruitment center, training some 10,000 African-American soldiers – including enslaved recruits who put their lives on the line to join the cause. Explore the amazing story of how the camp became a refuge for the enslaved wives and children of soldiers, and a freedmen’s community after the war. With a museum, cemetery, educational center and nature trails, this 525-acre site is a must-visit for understanding the African-American experience of the Civil War.