Camp Nelson National Cemetery & Wild Turkey Camp Nelson Warehouses

I have the deepest respect for all of the people who have served our country and are buried in Camp Nelson National Cemetery. It also holds a special place in my heart, as my father is one of the many who was laid to rest here.

Camp Nelson National Monument & National Cemetery

Camp Nelson was established in 1863. It served as a hospital and a maintenance and supply station for the US Army. A portion of the land has been used as a cemetery since 1863, and by 1866, 1180 people were buried there. Following the Civil War the cemetery was used to reinter Union dead who had been buried elsewhere in Kentucky. The cemetery continues to serve as a final resting place for men and women who have served in the Armed Forces and some immediate members of their families.

Camp Nelson also had another very important role. According to the National Parks Service website: “Initially established as a Union army supply depot and hospital, Camp Nelson was one of the largest recruitment and training centers for African American soldiers during the Civil War, and served as a refugee camp for their wives and children.

Thousands of enslaved African Americans risked their lives escaping to the camp, located within the slaveholding state of Kentucky, with the hope of securing their freedom and, ultimately, controlling their futures by contributing to the destruction of slavery.”

According to the National Cemetery Administration website: “After the war, the base was designated an official refugee camp by the federal government and placed under the direction of the Freedmen’s Bureau.”

Wild Turkey Camp Nelson Warehouses

The warehouses overlooking the cemetery also have a long history. They have been used by the Kentucky River Distillery, the Canada Dry Distillery (yes, the same Canada Dry that makes ginger ale), Seagrams to store Four Roses Bourbon, and now by Wild Turkey. The Russell’s Reserve picks I have had from these warehouses are some of the best bourbon I have had. We know that emotions play a role in our sensory experiences, so my enjoyment of these bourbons may be due to my thoughts of my father and all the others who are a part of Camp Nelson’s history. Stay safe you all. Cheers!🥃

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