Tyler in Smith County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Camp Ford - Establishment of the Camp
Prisoner Of War Exchange System
In June 1862 the North and South formally executed a "cartel" creating a system for the orderly exchange of prisoners of war. By December 1862 the system began to break down because CS President Jefferson Davis ordered no further exchange of officers because of alleged atrocities of Union General Benjamin Butler. Also by late 1862 the North began experimenting with recruiting African-Americans into military service. The political issues associated with this, especially the problem of the use of white officers for black
In late 1863 and early 1864 CS General Richard Taylor and US General Nathaniel Banks entered into an agreement for the exchange of prisoners captured west of the Mississippi. Banks made the stipulation that there could be "no distinction made as to corps" [no discrimination based upon race.] Taylor agreed, stating that he did not believe that he had in his possession any white officers of black troops.
Banks commanded the US Department of the Gulf, and Taylor the CS Department of West Louisiana. Taylor had taken a few prisoners by the summer of 1863, and there were only a handful of prisoners in Texas. The US regulars captured west San Antonio in 1861 had been exchanged in early 1863. US prisoners captured at Galveston on January 1, 1863 and at Sabine Pass on September 8, 1863 were held at Camp Groce, near Hampstead. The Department of Texas was commanded by CS General J.B. Magruder, and Groce was the POW camp for this department.
Erected by Smith County Historical Society.
Location. 32° 23.78′ Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Tyler TX 75702, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Camp Ford Confederate Guards (here, next to this marker); Camp Ford - Early Days as a Prison Camp (here, next to this marker); Camp Ford - Prisoners from Louisiana (here, next to this marker); African Americans at Camp Ford (here, next to this marker); Camp Ford - Naval Prisoners (here, next to this marker); Cabin of Lt. Col. J.B. Leake (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Ford (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Camp Ford (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tyler.
Regarding Camp Ford - Establishment of the Camp. Camp Ford was the largest Confederate Prisoner of War Camp west of the Mississippi River during the American Civil War. Established in August of 1863, the camp was not closed until May 19, 1865. At its peak in July 1864, over 5,300 prisoners were detained there. (Smith County Historical Society)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 21, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 9, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 379 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 9, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 4. submitted on October 28, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 5, 6. submitted on November 5, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.