Interior Department Recommends Designating Camp Nelson as a National Monument

Secretary of the Interior recommends historic site in Jessamine County be considered for Kentucky’s first National Monument designation.

December 5, 2017

Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06), who has championed efforts to give national recognition to the Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park in Jessamine County, applauded the release of the Department of the Interior’s recommendation that the park be designated as a National Monument.  After learning of the Department’s plans to review National Monument designations, Congressman Barr brought the historic site to Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke’s attention as a possible addition for monument status.  Congressman Barr and his staff worked with local stakeholders to educate the Department’s staff on the historical significance of the park and to demonstrate strong local support for the designation.

“Today is a great day for Kentucky,” said Congressman Barr.  “With the release of this report, we are one step closer to having our first National Monument, and I can think of no site more deserving of this distinction than the Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park where thousands of African American slaves found freedom.  I greatly appreciate the consideration Secretary Zinke and the Department of Interior have given this request and the process they have undertaken to ensure that sites given this designation have national historic significance and local support.  I strongly encourage President Trump to follow through on the Secretary’s recommendations.”

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said, "National monuments help preserve and tell our nation's history, and Camp Nelson is one of the places where our nation was made stronger and history was made.  As a key depot, training center, and hospital, Camp Nelson recruited and trained thousands of African-American war heroes who helped restore the Union.  I appreciate Congressman Barr's interest in the monument review and his steadfast advocacy for the site."

Click here to read the full report released by the Department of the Interior.