BBQ, History and Reverence in Kentucky

This weekend is the Kentucky State BBQ Festival in Danville, KY.

Come on Layla get up let’s go….

DSCN1180Snoozin’ go away!

Well she doesn’t yet share my enthusiasm, but she will.

She actually scored big at the festival, almost a full rack of rib bones.

A kind fellow saw her sitting and waiting patiently as I ate some of my food. I guess he missed the part where she got some first, before I ever got a bite. But he gave her a pile of bones from the rack of ribs his family had been eating.

On the way to feed our bellies we passed a sign that said there was an event going on at Camp Nelson. Here’s a brief description and link to the Camp Nelson Historic Site homepage.

Camp Nelson website

Camp Nelson’s Portal To Freedom
Camp Nelson provided the Union Army with over 10,000 African-American soldiers, making it the third largest recruiting and training depot for African Americans in the nation. Many of the black soldiers brought their families with them to Camp Nelson and eventually the army established a refugee camp for these individuals. Thousands of African-Americans came to Camp Nelson and it was here that they gained their freedom. Read more.

Today though we walked back in time to where history was looking at us.

Hilltop Union CampHilltop Union Camp

Just over this rise was the camp of the 12th infantry.

fellows in camp

Now we had arrived after a skirmish and the soldiers were regrouped in camp trying to refresh themselves and develop new strategies. This group, the 12th infantry, was actually up here from Florida where they all live. Although, some of them have ancestors who were raised and fought here at Camp Nelson. Many of the 10,000 black Civil War soldiers brought their families to the refugee camp that was here. At one point in time these families were expelled from the camp and their shanties burnt to prevent their return. This lead to the death of hundreds due to exposure in the winter months. Story of sorrow

The event included actors (people like you and I that love history) in period costume to tell the story to us all. Some of them I actually recognized, well their characters at least.

Abe at Camp Nelson
Abe at Camp Nelson

Others helped to portray what life was like “back in the day.

School at Camp Nelson
School at Camp Nelson

The Site housed a museum with story boards and displays of life in the camp. There were archives and artifacts displayed as well.

camp display

While this close I had to visit the national cemetery at Camp Nelson.


If you’ve never been to a national cemetery you’ll most likely not understand what I’m about to describe.
” I stand on this hallowed ground, this field of unrealized dreams, so that I may give my respect to those that gave their dreams that I might dream and live free.” ~~ Dan ~~


Thanks for dropping by, leave us a comment or two so we know you’ve been here with us.

Until next time, Layla and I hope you …

“Get out, be safe, and go adventure”

In just a few days we’ll be headed to Tumbling Creek for the weekend.