Camp Dick Robinson was a large Union Army organizational and training center located near Lancaster in rural Garrard County, Kentucky, during the American Civil War. It was the first Union training center created south of the Ohio River and the first one in Kentucky.
The camp was established on August 6, 1861, despite the protests of Governor Beriah Magoffin, a strong secessionist and Southern sympathizer. It was located about halfway between Cincinnati, Ohio and the Cumberland Gap, and was about 30 miles (48 km) from Lexington and 5 miles (8.0 km) from Danville. It was constructed on the 3,200-acre (13 km2) farm of Captain Dick Robinson, a strong pro-Union supporter. The post served as a rallying point for local loyalists, as well as for Unionists who had left their homes in eastern Tennesseein order to enlist in the Union army. Home Guard units recruited in the area were supplied with arms and munitions, and Federal troops trained and drilled until sent to the front lines. Among the early commanders were William "Bull" Nelson and George H. "Pap" Thomas.
In 1862, the Confederate Army seized the camp and renamed it "Camp Breckinridge," in honor of Confederate general and former U.S. Vice President John C. Breckinridge, a native Kentuckian. The advance of the Union army into the region forced the Rebels to abandon the camp, and Federal troops regained its possession for the remainder of the war. After hostilities ceased in 1865, the camp was phased out of existence.
Camp Dick Robinson Elementary School in Lancaster memorializes the old Civil War camp.
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