Saturday, October 15, 2011
Camp Nelson near Lexington, Kentucky in the Civil War
Today I attended a session on how to prepare for the release of the 1940 Census scheduled for April 2012. It was held at the Main Branch of the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library. While there, I scanned the shelves to see if there were any books that might provide additional insight about my Civil War ancestors. One book immediately caught my eye because it was about Camp Nelson, Kentucky. This camp, located near Lexington, Kentucky was an important recruiting and training camp for black soldiers who often abandoned their slave owners to sign up for service.
I was shocked to open the book to p. 105 and read this interaction between Col. John G. Eve and Lt. G.A. Hanaford:
U.S. Mil. Tel.
July 30th 1864
By Telegraph from Camp Burnside
To Lt. G.A. Hanaford
Some negroes in Govt employ here on last friday night got some arms & went out of Camp to rescue a negroe woman from her owner. They did not find the woman or her owner & came back. What shall I do with them. Answer.
July 30 1864 Col. JG Eve
If you have any balls and chains put them on the negroes and make work with them on the Severest labor you can put them at. I do not know but it would be a good idea to (have) one of them court martialed and Shot. as an example to others.
By Order of Brig Gen SS Fry
Signed Geo A. Hanaford Lt & A A A A G
I have nothing more to add to this post.
Sears, Richard D. Camp Nelson, Kentucky -- A Civil War History Lexington, The University Press of Kentucky, 2002.