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Tyler in Smith County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Cabin of Lt. Col. J.B. Leake

(Camp Ford, Tyler Texas)

 
 
Cabin of Lt. Col. J.B. Leake Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 17, 2012
1. Cabin of Lt. Col. J.B. Leake Marker
Inscription.    J.B. Leake was a Lieutenant Colonel in the 20th Iowa. Captured at the battle of Stirling Plantation near Morganza, Louisiana September 29, 1863, he arrived in the first large group of prisoners on October 23, 1863. Lt. Col. Leake, being the highest ranking officer at Camp Ford, received a cabin in a prime location — closest to the spring. The cabin, completed December 4, 1863, was built in the southwest corner of the stockade. The site of the original cabin is 50 yards to the southeast. Sketches from Leake's diary show the cabin below. His diary and sketches were important in verifying the accuracy of other Camp Ford drawings.
The reconstruction was built from these drawings with materials from the park. The "stick and mud" chimney actually works!

The sketch at the right, drawn by Col. A.H.H. Duganne of the 176th New York, shows Leake's cabin with the same porch roof in its position in the stockade.
 
Erected by Smith County Historical Society.
 
Location. 32° 23.79′ N, 95° 16.073′ W. Marker is in Tyler, Texas, in Smith County. Marker can be reached from 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.
Cabin of Lt. Col. J.B. Leake and Marker, at far right image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 17, 2012
2. Cabin of Lt. Col. J.B. Leake and Marker, at far right
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Camp Ford - Establishment of the Camp (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Ford Stockade (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Ford Confederate Guards (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Ford - Early Days as a Prison Camp (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Ford - Prisoners from Louisiana (within shouting distance of this marker); African Americans at Camp Ford (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Ford - Naval Prisoners (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Ford (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tyler.
 
Regarding Cabin of Lt. Col. J.B. Leake. On this site during the Civil War was located Camp Ford the largest prisoner of war compound for Union troops west of Mississippi river named in honor of Col. John S. "Rip" Ford who originally established a training camp here in 1862. It was converted in the summer of 1863 to a prison camp.


It first consisted of four to five acres enclosed by a stockade sixteen feet high. In the spring of 1864 following the Confederate victories at Mansfield, Louisiana and Mark's Mills, Arkansas the enclosure was doubled to accommodate the large influx of prisoners. Approximately 4700 Federals were confined here during
Sketch at left : Cabin of Lt. Col. J.B. Leake image. Click for full size.
By Cabin of Lt. Col. J.B. Leake Marker, `
3. Sketch at left : Cabin of Lt. Col. J.B. Leake
this period. This overcrowded condition was somewhat relieved through a series of prisoner of war exchanges between the North and the South.


Union soldiers representing nearly one hundred different regiments plus sailors from gunboats and transports were confined here. In addition there were imprisoned Union sympathizers, spies and even Confederate deserters.

The prisoners constructed their own shelters ranging from log huts and burrows called "shebangs" to brush arbors and tents made of blankets.


A spring, located about 199yards southwest of this marker, furnished an ample supply of good water. Their meager rations, essentially the same as that of their guards, usually consisted of beef and corn meal and were sometimes supplemented by vegetables purchased from nearby farms Although escape attempts were frequent, very few were successful due to the long distance to union lines and the difficulty in eluding the tracking hounds used by the Confederate guards.


Even though conditions were primitive it compared favorably with the other Civil War prison camps. Camp Ford continued to serve as a prison until the surrender of the Trans-Mississippi department in May, 1865. It was later destroyed by Federal occupation troops. (Texas State Historical Survey Committee)
 
Also see . . .  The Battle of Stirling's Plantation (also known as the Battle of Fordoche Bridge)
Cabin of Lt. Col. J.B. Leake recreation image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 17, 2012
4. Cabin of Lt. Col. J.B. Leake recreation
. Only a few Union infantry managed to escape. The Federals lost 16 dead, 45 wounded, and 454 prisoners. Confederate losses were 26 dead, 85 wounded and ten missing. Additionally, the Confederates took two ten pounder parrot rifles with caissons, two new ambulances, one hospital wagon loaded with medical supplies, and all of the arms of the captured men. (Confederate Brigadier General Thomas) Green quickly consolidated his prisoners and spoils and moved back to the river, crossing it as quickly as possible. The prisoners were then marched via Alexandria, Natchitoches, Mansfield and Shreveport to the Camp Ford prison camp near Tyler, Texas, where they arrived on October 23, 1863 (Submitted on October 28, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
The sketch at the right, image. Click for full size.
By Cabin of Lt. Col. J.B. Leake Marker, `
5. The sketch at the right,
drawn by Col. A.H.H. Duganne of the 176th New York, shows Leake's cabin with the same porch roof in its position in the stockade.
Cabin of Lt. Col. J.B. Leake, nearby reconstructed dugout hut image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, September 17, 2012
6. Cabin of Lt. Col. J.B. Leake, nearby reconstructed dugout hut
Lt. Col. J.B. Leake image. Click for full size.
Wikipedia
7. Lt. Col. J.B. Leake
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 20, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 28, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 373 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on October 28, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
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