From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Civil War Colored Troops, Columbus, KY

During the Civil War, Fort DeRussey was located within what is now the Columbus-Belmont State Park. The town of Columbus was considered the state's most powerful Confederate stronghold in 1861; the location was crucial to the defense of the Upper Mississippi River. The following year, the town would be taken over by the Union Army and Columbus would become a refuge for runaway slaves, and second to Camp Nelson for recruiting and training African American soldiers. Fort DeRussey was renamed Fort Helleck, and by the end of the war, the majority of the Union soldiers in that part of the state were African American. For more see B. Craig, "Monday PMs Feature; Fortress town became haven for runaway slaves," The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 11/28/1999.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Hickman County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Columbus, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Associated Press State & Local Wire

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Civil War Colored Troops, Columbus, KY,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 30, 2020,

Last modified: 2019-08-16 22:48:17