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Camp Ford, Tyler
(3.3/5 based on 35+ reviews on the web)
Camp Ford was a prisoner of war camp near Tyler, Texas, during the American Civil War. It was the largest Confederate-run prison west of the Mississippi River.Established in the spring of 1862 as a training camp for new Confederate recruits, the camp was named for Col. John Salmon Ford, a Texas Ranger and the Superintendent of Conscripts for the State of Texas. The first Union prisoners to arrive at camp Ford in August 1863 included officers captured in Brashear City Louisiana in June, and included naval personnel captured when the 'Queen Of The West' and the 'Diana' were seized by the Union Navy. The captives were initially held in the open, but a panic ensued in November 1863 when 800 new prisoners threatened a mass breakout. A military stockade enclosing 4acre was soon erected.With over 2,000 new prisoners taken in Louisiana on April 8 and 9 1864, at the battles of Mansfield, and Pleasant Hill, the stockade was quadrupled in size. With more prisoners captured in Arkansas, the prison's population peaked at about 5,000 in July 1864. The population was reduced by exchanges in July and October 1864, and again in February 1865. The last 1,761 prisoners were exchanged on May 22, 1865. Summary Executions of Local Citizens, Recounted by 49th Ohio prisoners at Camp Ford: From "Twenty Months in the Dept of the Gulf", A.G.H. DuGanne "Among the last-mentioned local events, however, was the "Match Plot," which deserves a paragraph".
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a great park to learn facts about the Civil War and think about the thousands of soldiers held as POW. Over 5000 were imprisoned at Camp Ford. Lots of signs and good reconstruction. History wi...  more »
  • The park was awesome. There are signs everywhere explaining the history. There were over 5000 POW's housed there. You can almost feel their spirits. 
  • Kind of a cool little place to walk through. Neat little trail type setting that can be done in about 30 minutes. Read a few signs along the way and learn about the POW camp. Right on the corner so it...  more »
Google
  • Location is hard to see from a vehicle but it's a nice walk roundabout. Parking at front & quiet place to check out some history in the process.
  • Quiet park atmosphere. We have been stopping here for years and the kids loved exploring when they were young.
  • I went during the living history event, which was great! I'm sure it's less exciting when people aren't there dressed up but it's still a neat place to go learn about history!
  • So much history!
  • Literally just drove by it on Christmas Eve. When it warms up I'd like to explore it with my grandson.