Camps Robinson and Nelson were training camps established by the Federal government in Kentucky to train residents loyal to the government in Washington for service in the Army. Camp Robinson was the first Federal training camp south of the Ohio River; Camp Nelson was named for a Union General William "Bull" Nelson, who was wounded at the battle of Richmond, Kentucky.

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the War
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Camp Robinson Camp Nelson
July 1861

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In July of 1861, Wm. "Bull" Nelson entered the state of Kentucky to recruit soldiers for the Federal government. This enraged Confederate sympathizers as well as Governor Magoffin, who was himself a Confederate sympathizer. He asked President Lincoln to respect the neutrality of Kentucky and withdraw his troops from Kentucky. President Lincoln responded that he didn't feel neutrality was the wishes of the people of Kentucky.


This was the homestead and farm of Richard Robinson, who offered his property as a training camp for the Federal government. This camp later moved north and became Camp Nelson.


Major General Burnside found Camp Nelson in 1863 as a supply depot for the Federal Army in Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Tennessee, and Southwestern Virginia. Camp Nelson recruited and trained over ten thousand African troops, the 3rd largest black training center for the Federal government.

Ball's Bluff, Virginia :
battlefield along the Potomac River

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