Danville in Boyle County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
First USCT Recruits at Camp Nelson
May 23, 1864, nearly 250 black men, most of them slaves, left Boyle Co. to march to Camp Nelson in Jessamine Co. to enlist in the Union army. On the way, some Danville citizens threw stones and shot pistols at the recruits. When they reached camp, Union Col. Andrew Clark initially refused to accept them because no policy allowed for the recruitment of slaves.
Although a few local slave owners tried to reclaim some of the men, the recruits were accepted into the army, causing a Union policy change that allowed able-bodied African American men, including slaves, to enlist. Over 5,000 U.S. Colored Troops were eventually recruited at Camp Nelson, with some of the first coming from Boyle County.
Erected 2012 by Kentucky Historical Society & Kentucky Department of Highways. (Marker Number 2388.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Kentucky Historical Society series list. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1901.
Location. 37° Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 119 S2nd Street, Danville KY 40422, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Isaac Shelby (a few steps from this marker); African American Business District - Doric Lodge No. 18 (F. & A.M.-P.H.A.) (a few steps from this marker); Post Office (within shouting distance of this marker); Walker Daniel (within shouting distance of this marker); First Post Office (within shouting distance of this marker); Jail (within shouting distance of this marker); Ephraim McDowell House (within shouting distance of this marker); Meeting House (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Danville.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 31, 2013, by Ken Smith of Milan, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 588 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on December 31, 2013, by Ken Smith of Milan, Tennessee. 4. submitted on August 11, 2018, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Al Wolf was the editor who published this page.