Erected by the Dean-Parker Chapter, National Chapter Daughters of the Union 1861-1865, Inc. in July 1998

Original Section

Camp Nelson National Cemetery

On the crest of a small knoll, bordered by the magnificent Kentucky River Palisades, is the tranquil and beautiful Camp Nelson National Cemetery. A lot of history lies sleeping within the stone walls; some of it from over a hundred fifty years ago.

The National Cemetery had its beginnings in the middle stages of the War Between the States. On a high bluff overlooking the Kentucky river on the Jessamine County side, an earthen breastwork was developed as a protective fort.

1,247 Unknown Soldiers are laid to rest at Camp Nelson National Cemetery. These fallen heroes are marked by simple square markers in the original section of the cemetery. All but forgotten, they deserve to be remembered and honored.

Project 1247 was established to remember and honor the lives of those 1,247 who, although unknown, are not to be forgotten; it is a special effort to ensure all these veteran’s markers are covered with a wreath during this year’s National Wreaths Across America Day Ceremony. Please join us in making this special Project a reality.

We are asking that you become involved with Project 1247 by organizing friends and associates to sponsor Remembrance Wreaths for the 1,247 Unknowns at Camp Nelson National Cemetery.

We need your assistance. Individuals and groups with Civil War History interests can play a significant role in recruitment of sponsors; your participation will play an important role as we:

Remember Honor Teach

Recognition of your participation in Project 1247 will be posted on this website.

Donations of any amount are appreciated. Each wreath sponsorship is $15.00. However, the Wreaths Across America 3 for 2 Program for which Project 1247 is affiliated, provides for an additional wreath for every two wreaths sponsored. By organizing and sponsoring 832 wreaths we will receive 1,248 Remembrance Wreaths for the 1,247 Unknowns and a wreath for the Civil War Memorial at Camp Nelson National Cemetery.

Camp Nelson Civil War History

During the Civil War, Camp Nelson had an important role in supplying the U.S. Army, caring for the sick and wounded and acting as an enlistment station for African-American soldiers.

The post was established in 1863 and contained numerous shops for blacksmith work and the construction of wagons and ambulances, as well as, buildings for storing supplies and artillery equipment.

Camp Nelson included barracks, headquarters buildings and a seven hundred bed hospital. There were three types of medical facilities on the post: a hospital for military prisoners; an acute general hospital; and a rehabilitation unit.

“THE CAMP NELSON CIVIL WAR SITE is located along US 27 in extreme southern Jessamine County, Kentucky about five miles south of Nicholasville. The original camp covered 4,000 acres with some 300 buildings and fortifications. The Union Army turned the rolling pasture land of Jessamine County into an enormous base of operations. All the buildings, save an officers' quarters, were dismantled and sold following the closure of the base.

This immense complex was sandwiched between the natural defenses of the palisades that rise over 400 feet from the Kentucky River and Hickman Creek to the south, east and west. The northern boundary of Camp Nelson was protected by a line of eight earthen fortifications and breastworks. Another fort, Fort Bramlette was constructed on a hill south of the main complex where it overlooked the Kentucky River and Hickman Creek. Watch could be kept for any enemy force that might attempt to attack the depot from the rear.”