FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 29, 2013) — The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) will dedicate a historical marker to the first U.S. Colored Troops at Camp Nelson at noon Monday, Feb. 4, at Constitution Square in Danville.

In May 1864, nearly 250 black men, most of them slaves, marched from Boyle County to Camp Nelson in Jessamine County 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. Despite attempts by a few local slave owners 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.

The Kentucky Historical Marker Program, administered by KHS in cooperation with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, tells Kentucky’s story through the people, places and events that have shaped local communities across the Commonwealth. These markers highlight the importance of place in Kentucky’s collective history, in order to build strong communities for the future. The markers are on-the-spot history lessons that make connections between history, place and historical evidence housed in the Commonwealth’s many historical organizations. Through the program, Kentucky’s history is made accessible to the public on markers along the state’s roadways and online at
www.history.ky.gov/markers and via the Explore Kentucky History smartphone application available for free at iTunes and Google Play.

For more information, contact Becky Riddle, Kentucky Historical Marker program coordinator, at 502-564-1792, ext. 4474 or



An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Historical Society, established in 1836, is committed to helping people understand, cherish and share Kentucky's history. The KHS history campus includes the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal. For more information about the Kentucky Historical Society and its programs, visit www.history.ky.gov.



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