The remains of the first Civil War engagement of regular troops in Kentucky occur at Camp Wildcat. Union forces established the camp on the high, rough terrain of Wildcat Mountain in the late summer of 1861. It was located at the junction of the Wilderness Road and a north-south road that connected Lexington and Richmond with the Cumberland Gap. Confederate forces began an attack on the camp on the morning of October 21, 1861 at Hoosier Knob and mounted a second attack in the afternoon toward Infantry Ridge and up the Wilderness Road. By evening, the battle was over and the unsuccessful Confederates withdrew.
Today, much of the encampment and battle area are within Daniel Boone National Forest and are protected and interpreted by the U. S. Forest Service and the Camp Wildcat Preservation Foundation. Archaeological surveys have helped identify areas that need protection and interpretation.