Camp Nelson Civil War Days
Relatives of Black Civil War Soldiers Sought for Camp Nelson September Event
Reprinted and posted by permission from the CAMP NELSON DISPATCH - Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park, Vol. 5, Issue 1 - Winter 2004
In recent years, the Camp Nelson Foundation has been holding two Civil War events - one in April, and another in September. But this year, the two events will be combined, according to Mary Kozak, county special projects director for the Camp Nelson Foundation. She explained that this will give them more time to locate relatives of the African American troops who trained at Camp Nelson. A special homecoming is being planned for families who had relatives who served at Camp Nelson, in recognition of the 140th anniversary of the recruitment of African American soldiers, Kozak said. "We think it's important to commemorate this anniversary," she said.
The event, to be held in September will be called "Camp Nelson Civil War Days," and will be held the weekend of Sept. 11-12. The event will consist of the activities of previous years 'Living History Weekend and the U. S. Colored Troops' weekend. Events will include, re-enactors depicting the 12th United States Colored Heavy Artillery Regiment, a group of military re-enactors which was formed at Camp Nelson. Other African American units will also participate, including women and children depicting life at the Camp Nelson Civil War Army Depot and Refugee Camp.
During the Civil War, eight U. S. Colored Troop regiments were organized at Camp Nelson, as well as two Cavalry, two heavy artillery (including the original 12th, and four infantry.)
The Camp Nelson Civil War Refugee Camp was the third largest recruitment center for African American troops in the country during the Civil War. The 525-acre Camp Nelson Heritage Park is the original site of the 1863-1866 Civil War camp, which enlisted and trained more than 10,000 African-American men for the Union Army and provided refuge for their families.
Kozak said the coming year's event will include most of last year's activities, plus some new things. "As always, we will do our best to keep it authentic," she said.
Families who wish to commemorate a relative who was stationed at Camp Nelson may contact Jim Hunn at 859-236-9710 <email@example.com> or Mary Kozak at 859-492-3115.