Camp Nelson CemeterieS

Memorial Day is a great prompt to blog about my recent twelve day trip to visit family in Kentucky. While there, I decided to do some family research and went to the Camp Nelson Heritage Park and cemeteries. I am using the plural for the latter, because there is the National cemetery, a graveyard at the Park, as well as a cemetery that was used by the families that stayed in the area after the Civil War (scroll left & it is right below the Jim Beam Preserve marker on Payne Lane). I saw them all!

The Camp Nelson National Cemetery is where two of my great-uncles and my father are laid to rest. It is a beautiful place situated upon hills.


From Camp Nelson Heritage Park you can see the National Cemetery and old distillery buildings that mark the U.S. 27 exit, taking you to the Camp Nelson community. I walked the trails of the Heritage Park and got a good feel for how large the Civil War camp must have been. I literally felt it in my feet, due to my bad choice in footwear! I also learned that there was a graveyard at the Park marked by a white obelisk-type marker. The monument reads:


Here lie the bodies of numerous unknown Tennessee white refugees and Kentucky African-American refugees who perished from disease while at Camp Nelson. These civilians sought freedom and protection within this U.S. Army post.


Maybe some of my people lay there. At the time wooden markers were used. They decayed, so the monument was erected.

The community cemetery is located on Payne’s Lane, Nicholasville, KY. It is on the other side of the highway, across from  the National Cemetery.

Refugee Camp U.S. 27 marker

Refugee Camp U.S. 27 marker

Refugee Camp U.S. 27 marker, back







My great-great-great-grandparents Josie and Ed Overstreet are buried there, as well as my great-great-great-uncle William Overstreet, whom I blogged about in earlier posts. William has his Civil War military service with Company K of the 124th U.S. Colored Infantry on his marker. Ed does not, unfortunately. I decided to take photos of all of the remaining grave markers in order to post them, possibly on Find A Grave. Also, I am sure I am related to a great number of the people that were laid to rest there, so the information will come in handy one day.

Edmond Overstreet


Josie Washington Overstreet








William S Overstreet