Tyler in Smith County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Camp Ford - Prisoners from Louisiana
No communications survive that set forth the exact reasons for Taylor selecting Tyler as a depot for POW's. It is probable that Taylor contemplated using the Sabine River as a legalism to avoid the "no distinction as to Corps" requirement.By housing his prisoners in Texas, he could selectively pull prisoners from Tyler to Shreveport and truthfully state that if there were any white officers of black troops, that they were in Texas and not subject to his control. In late September, Taylor bagged an entire brigade of Federals at Bayou Fordoche. The 650 prisoners were marched to Tyler, marking the beginning of the facility as a full scale prison camp.
The arrival of the Fordoche prisoners on October 30, 1863 created a panic in Tyler.
At about the same time, negotiations were in full swing for a prisoner exchange. Camp Groce was ordered to be closed and prisoners moved to Tyler, with the officers to be detained here, and the enlisted men to be sent on to Shreveport. The Camp Groce prisoners arrived on December 24, 1863, and all of the enlisted men marched on to Shreveport the next day. The exchange did not take place, and these men remained at Shreveport for the winter.
Erected by Smith County Historical Society.
Location. 32° 23.779′ N, 95° 16.102′ W. Marker is in Tyler, Texas, in Smith County. Marker is on U.S. 271 near Loop State Highway 323, on the right when traveling north. 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 Camp Ford - Naval Prisoners (here, next to this marker); Camp Ford - Early Days as a Prison Camp (here, next to this marker); African Americans at Camp Ford (here, next to this marker); Camp Ford Confederate Guards (here, next to this marker); Camp Ford - Establishment of the Camp (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.
Also see . . . Richard Taylor (general), from Wikipedia. (Son of US President, Zachary Taylor, was a brother-in-law of Jefferson Davis) During 1863, Taylor directed an effective series of clashes with Union forces over control of lower Louisiana, most notably at Battle of Fort Bisland and the Battle of Irish Bend. These clashes were fought against Union Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks for control of the Bayou Teche region in southern Louisiana and his ultimate objective of Siege of Port Hudson. After Banks had successfully pushed Taylor's Army of Western Louisiana aside, he continued on his way to Port Hudson via Alexandria, Louisiana. After these battles, Taylor formulated a plan to recapture Bayou Teche, along with the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, and to halt the Siege of Port Hudson.... (Submitted on October 9, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 9, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 332 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 9, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. 5. submitted on October 28, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.