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Camp Ford, Tyler

3.3
#19 of 21 in Things to do in Tyler
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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Camp Ford Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
46 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • July 29, 2017
    We passed this on our way out of town. I saw the sign and turned around and went back. How often does one get the opportunity to visit a Civil War Prisoner of War camp? We walked most of the trail and...  more »
  • June 25, 2017
    I love historical places and was intrigued by this civil war era site for detaining pows from that era...while I could feel the historical significance of the site and enjoyed the plaques along the wa...  more »
  • June 6, 2017
    The reviews described it as run down but we found a very well marked historical site that captured POW history we did not know about. Well mowed grounds and nice trails. We spent 45 minutes reading th...  more »
Google
  • July 5, 2017
    Beautiful place to stop and spend some time. Historical site of the largest Civil War POW camp west of Mississippi River.
  • March 26, 2017
    Absolute reverence. It feels like an oasis without being creepy. It surrounds you with a story in history without douchey bells and whistles. It very much makes you feel like it was back when(sans the shooting and war). Love this place. Go and respect and pray. Q
  • April 8, 2017
    The pathways have degraded and the cabin torn down. No restrooms available. The woods are nice and there are random historical signs with nothing to see. Go for a nice walk but sad that Tyler doesn't take care of what could be a really nice site.
  • September 4, 2016
    Quiet park atmosphere. We have been stopping here for years and the kids loved exploring when they were young.
  • August 4, 2016
    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.

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