Camp Nelson to participate in nationwide commemoration of Civil War campaign

gkocher1@herald-leader.comMay 21, 2014 

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    For information, go to Campnelson.org or call (859) 881-5716. For 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, Extension 202.

Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park in Jessamine County will participate in a nationwide commemoration Saturday of the 1864 Overland Campaign in Virginia.

During that military campaign, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant sought to destroy Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.

A program called "Reverberations" connects three national parks in Virginia — Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania, Richmond, and Petersburg — and eight communities around the country, including Camp Nelson, to illustrate the nationwide impact that the Civil War had.

Camp Nelson, one of the largest Union recruiting and training centers for black soldiers, is associated with Petersburg, where the attacks brought an end to the Overland Campaign and Grant laid siege to Lee's army.

Camp Nelson's contribution of troops was a factor in the Union's success during the 10-month campaign. The bloody conflict around Richmond and Petersburg in 1864 and 1865 led to the end of the Civil War in April 1865 at Appomattox Court House.

Saturday's program at Camp Nelson will include presentations starting at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on the black troops who were recruited and trained at Camp Nelson and fought in the siege.

At 1 p.m., there will be a commemorative ceremony for the families of those troops who died at Camp Nelson.

There will be an evening artillery salute and fire at 6:30 p.m. Finally, a commemorative ceremony at Camp Nelson National Cemetery at 8 p.m. will recognize troops from Camp Nelson and across the country who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The event and park tours are free. Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park is on U.S. 27, six miles south of Nicholasville.

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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