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Good For Kids
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A small shelter was located next to the parking lot with a number of orientation and background type signs.
Camp Wildcat Battlefield
Closest available address
Located in Boone National Forest 12 miles north of London, KY
Open 24 hours but daylight hours are best
Best time to visit
Summer, Fall, Spring
Camp Wildcat Battlefield is a 300 acre historical site located in a remote part of the Daniel Boone National Forest. The battlefield was acquired by a private conservation group in 1996 and is now owned by a local county. One of the first Civil War battles in Kentucky, Camp Wildcat was a relatively small engagement in October 1861, but it had broader implications in the war as the Union victory helped enable the US to maintain control of Kentucky.
While Kentucky was initially neutral in the Civil War, it quickly became a battleground due to its strategic importance. Camp Wildcat was the name given by Union soldiers to a base they built here to help protect an important road. The South could not advance into Kentucky along this road without taking the base. While, the Union position was quite strong geographically, it was light on manpower. Fortunately for the North reinforcements arrived just prior to the arrival of Southern troops. Due to the hilly terrain and heavy woods, Union forces were able to repel a Confederate attack over the course of a day. Recognizing the futility of further attacks, the Southerners commenced a retreat.
As Civil War Battlefields go, Camp Wildcat was mixed. On the plus side, there is essentially no development to mar the historical experience and the interpretive signage was fairly informative. Negatives include the lack of a museum/visitor center and a wooded terrain that makes it more difficult to get a sense of the battlefield. Also, a one mile trail to the site was hilly in places. It would not be an issue for a person in decent shape, but could be challenging for one with mobility issues. Given a remote location and obscure historical event, only the most ardent Civil War buffs will find this place of interest. If you are such a person and are already in the area, the battlefield is worth a few hours of your time to explore for its well preserved state. It's also probable you will get to enjoy it all to yourself.
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