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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Hempstead in Waller County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Union Army P.O.W. Cemetery

 
 
Union Army P.O.W. Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, August 2, 2020
1. Union Army P.O.W. Cemetery Marker
Inscription.  

Several Confederate military facilities were positioned near Hempsted (2.5 mi. W), an important railroad junction, during the Civil War. Camp Groce (then about 6 mi. E) was a prisoner-of-war stockade established on the plantation of Leonard Waller Groce (1806-1873).

Union Army prisoners who died at various camps were buried near this site on the McDade Plantation, adjacent to the McDade family cemetery (about 25 yds. NE). The cemeteries were near a narrow gauge spur off the "Austin Branch" of the Houston & Texas Central Railroad, built from Houston in 1858.

A yellow fever epidemic in 1864 resulted in many deaths at Camp Groce and other camps, chronicled by Aaron T. Sutton (1841-1927). A Union prisoner in Company B, 83rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Sutton noted in his journal the presence of more than 100 fresh graves here soon after his arrival at Camp Groce in 1864. Sutton later escaped from the stockade and made his way to Beaumont (115 mi. E) on foot.

Crude crosses made of cedar limbs marked the prisoners' graves through the early 1900s, according to local residents. But the stream-fed woodland was cleared
Union Army P.O.W. Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, August 2, 2020
2. Union Army P.O.W. Cemetery Marker
in the 1940s for pasture land, and all surface evidence of the cemetery was lost.
Texas Sesquicentennial 1836 - 1986
(incise) Memorial Park donated by John Tilford Jones & Winfred Small Jones

 
Erected 1986 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 8123.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesRailroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil.
 
Location. 30° 6.625′ N, 96° 7.848′ W. Marker is near Hempstead, Texas, in Waller County. Marker is at the intersection of Austin Branch Road and Sorsby Road, on the left when traveling west on Austin Branch Road. The marker is located at the back of the small memorial park for the cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hempstead TX 77445, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Madison "Matt" Kilpatrick (approx. 2.1 miles away); Ahrenbeck-Urban Home (approx. 3.1 miles away); Hempstead High School (approx. 3.2 miles away); Former Waller County Post Offices (approx. 3.3 miles away); The Old Courthouse Clock and Bell (approx. 3.3 miles away); Hempstead, C.S.A. (approx. 3.3 miles away); Waller County
The view behind the Union Army P.O.W. Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, August 2, 2020
3. The view behind the Union Army P.O.W. Cemetery Marker
There is no evidence of the cemetery behind the marker.
(approx. 3.3 miles away); The Camp Site of the Texas Army (approx. 3˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hempstead.
 
Also see . . .
1. Camp Groce. Camp Groce held approximately 1,100 Union soldiers and sailors as prisoners of war at some time between June 1863 and December 1864. The prisoners suffered from the unhealthy locale and yellow fever, but a careful scholarly study of Camp Groce concludes that the men held there had a greater chance of survival than did those in most Civil War prisoner-of-war camps. Source: The Handbook of Texas (Submitted on January 3, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 

2. Yellow Fever. During the Civil War Union officers feared yellow fever more than Rebel bullets. Two years after the war in 1867, while Texas remained under Union control, the state endured the deadliest yellow fever season in its history. In Galveston, 1,000 died out of a population of 22,000.  Source: The Handbook of Texas (Submitted on January 3, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 4, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 3, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 34 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 4, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 4, 2021