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“Not many buildings here but a lot of history here!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park

Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park
Waterloo, Indiana
Level Contributor
524 reviews
305 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 314 helpful votes
“Not many buildings here but a lot of history here!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2012

In 1863 their were 300 buildings at Camp Nelson. Today their are only a few, one is the visitor center & museum, the other is called the white house which is original and was used by the union army. Not much to see outside but inside is a different story. The museum is small but interesting with many pictures of the camp and it's inhabitants. The third largest group of African-American troops were trained here and many of their families lived here as well. You can tour the white house but only on certain days. Whatever you do don't miss the film at the visitor center. I have seen many historical films and this one is really outstanding, very thorough in it's explanation of what took place here and it's implications to the war. It's free and worth your time.

Visited June 2012
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2 Thank terrsall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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31 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Spokane, Washington
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Civil War Days at Camp Nelson”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2009

I was visiting all of the Lincoln Heritage Trail sites around Kentucky and headed out to Camp Nelson, the site closest to my house. Typically, this site is free to visit and you can explore the museum, tour the White House and walk on the interpretive trails. A great outdoorsy site, and a great free site – a place I definitely plan to return to just walk around and enjoy the rolling countryside.

Today however, was a little bit different… because my visit happened to fall on the first day of ‘Civil War Days’ at Camp Nelson! For a small $3 I got to see the camp in full swing with re-enactors, soldiers camps set up, fires burning, guns firing, horses tied up along the fences and even musicians playing on the porch of the White House. It was a really fun, and more engaging than normal way to experience the park! They even had a visit from one of many contemporary Lincolns re-enacting his meeting with Frederick Douglass!

This was actually my first time going through the newly completed museum inside a modern building disguised as a barn, to blend with the historic landscape. It is a nicely done museum with life size replicas showing soldier’s camps, a field hospital, refugees quarters and more. Close to a lot of different towns, Camp Nelson is definitely worth visiting because it has such a unique story to tell.

It was the largest African American recruitment camp in Kentucky and the third largest in the nation during the Civil War – and therefore was important to Lincoln whose policies helped make it possible for slaves to find freedom through military enlistment. In addition the men volunteering for service, their families often came with them or followed them to Camp Nelson – another very interesting and unique story that is told at this site that you will not really get anywhere else. Also a story that maybe a lot of people are unaware of… I personally enjoyed this site for that reason – to learn some really interesting American history and local history that I didn’t know a whole lot about before. It’s also just a nice spot to visit.

The White House on the property was actually a house that was there – and used by the Union Army when they established a camp on the property of the home owners! It was recently restored and is worth touring if you are visiting the Camp. Just south is the cemetery, dedicated for the Union dead in 1867 – it is still a military cemetery.

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6 Thank ampd333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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