Welcome to Camp Ford, C.S.A.
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.
The site of the Camp stockade is now a public park, owned by Smith County, Texas, and managed by the Smith County Historical Society.
The park features a kiosk with extensive graphics detailing the history of the camp, a walking trail with more interpretive signage, a picnic area, and a reconstruction of the cabin of Lt. Col J.B. Leake.
The Camp Ford Historic Park is located on US Highway 271, 0.8 miles outside Loop 323 in Tyler, Texas. It is open daily, dawn to dusk, and admission is free. For directions with a map, click here.
- Loop 323 Extension now "Camp Ford Memorial Parkway" READ MORE
- Camp Ford Lithograph now available! Digitally restored, it is avaible on high quality paper. All sales proceeds will be used for the Camp Ford Historic Park. READ MORE
- The final archeological report from The Center for Ecological Archeology, Texas A&M University is now available. READ MORE
Several years ago, a group of individuals unsuccessfully attempted to take over management of the Camp Ford Historic Park. They formed an organization called the "Camp Ford Historical Association" and have engaged in fund raising activities. This group has no association with the Camp Ford Historic Park, the Smith County Historical Society, or the governmental entity of Smith County, Texas. No funds raised by them have been used, nor in any probability will be used, for preservation or work at the Camp Ford Historic Park, which encompasses the actual site of the Camp Ford stockade.
Smith County Historical Society is proud to host this webpage developed by Randal Gilbert, a long-time Society member who is considered by many to be among the foremost authorities on the history of Camp Ford. Smith County Historical Society is not responsible for the accuracy or content on this webpage.