Tyler in Smith County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Cabin of Lt. Col. J.B. Leake
(Camp Ford, Tyler Texas)
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. 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
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) (Submitted on October 28, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.)
Categories. • War, US Civil •
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 447 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on October 28, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.