THE LEADERS


Major General Ambrose E. Burnside
In the Spring of 1863 the new Army of the Ohio was organized and placed under the command of Major General Ambrose E. Burnside with explicit orders to invade East Tennessee. To assist this campaign Burnside, who had his headquarters in Cincinnati, ordered his engineers to find a suitable location in Central Kentucky to construct a large fortified supply depot and encampment, which became Camp Nelson.






Brigadeer General Speed S. Fry
By the late fall of 1863, Camp Nelson was garrisoned by soldiers of the Twenty-third Corps, who came from Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Indiana. The camp was placed within the District of North Central Kentucky, with Brig. General Speed S. Fry commanding. Fry's headquearters were established at Camp Nelson in early 1864. In the absence of a clear policy, Fry harassed and expelled colored refugees from the camp.






Captain Theron E. Hall
Camp Nelson's longtime Chief Quartermaster, and also the superintendent for the colored refugee camp, which included wives and children of ex-slave enlistees. He was sympathetic to their plight, and built barracks to house them in the southwestern part of Camp Nelson. This area exists today as the community of Hall.






Major General William "Bull" Nelson
The founder of Camp Dick Robinson, the first Union recruitment camp in Kentucky. A few short miles from there, a depot and encampment was established on a high plateau above the Kentucky River at the southern tip of Jessamine County and was officially named Camp Nelson on June 12, 1863, in honor of the late Major General William "Bull" Nelson.






Reverend John G. Fee
Reverend John G. Fee. Fee was a well known abolitionist and passionately believed in the equality of the races. Fee became a missionary at Camp Nelson, and after the war, split his time between Camp Nelson, where he founded Ariel College and Berea, Kentucky, where he founded and ran Berea College, one of the first, if not the first, integrated schools in the South.



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