NICHOLASVILLE, Ky (WTVQ) – The United States Veterans Service Organization in Kentucky hosted a Memorial Day Program at Camp Nelson National Cemetery on Monday.
The event featured two keynote speakers: Micheal E. Crutcher Sr. as Frederick Douglass and Mr. Jim Sayre as Abraham Lincoln.
During the Civil War, Camp Nelson had an important role in supplying the U.S. Army, caring for the sick and wounded and acting as an enlistment station for African-American soldiers. The site included barracks, headquarters buildings and a 700-bed hospital. After the war, the base was designated an official refugee camp by the federal government and placed under the direction of the Freedmen’s Bureau.
By 1863, the Army had selected a small plot of land next to the hospital as a graveyard for the men who died at Camp Nelson. The cemetery has been substantially expanded, although the historic section is enclosed by a stone wall.
Camp Nelson National Cemetery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.