The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

ber 29 by the departure of all the able enlisted men for Shreve-
port, preparatory to an exchange.4 The sixty-five remaining pris-
oners, mostly officers, were joined by about thirty-five more Fed-
eral army and navy officers on December 22, 1863.6 For the next
three months the prisoners had things pretty much to them-
selves, and conditions at the prison were good.
On March 30, after the beginning of the Red River Campaign,
76o Federal enlisted prisoners who had been sent to the vicinity
of Shreveport were returned to Camp Ford. Then on April 15,
17, and 18, came some 1,675 new prisoners captured from Banks's
army. On May 15, 1864, over 1,200 prisoners reached Ford from
Arkansas, and these were followed six days later by 490 more from
Louisiana." This total increased slowly until June 7, 1864, when
letters by prisoners represent the prison population as amount-
ing to 4,732 in the following categories:?
Captured during 1863 ............. . . 831
Captured in the spring of 1864 .......... ........... .. ,696
Naval prisoners (captured during 1863)................. . 20o5
Presumably with the arrival of 18o prisoners on July 6 the num-
ber of prisoners confined at Camp Ford reached a peak of about
4,900. Thereafter there was a decline, beginning with the depar-
ture of 930 for exchange on July 9, and 506 for Camp Groce at
Hempstead on August 12, 1864.8
After mid-November, 1863, Camp Ford was essentially a stock-
aded enclosure enlarged at intervals from about two acres to about
six acres. The Confederates never provided any formal shelter for
41bid.; testimony of Oscar G. Burch, St. Louis, Missouri, November 5, 1868,
House Committee Report No. 45, 40th Cong., Sd Sess. (Serial No. 1391), 1051.
5Duganne, Twenty Months in the Department of the Gulf, 287; Charles C. Nott,
Sketches in Prison Camps: A Continuation of Sketches of the War (New York,
1865), 136, 148.
*William W. Heartsill, Fourteen Hundred and Ninety-one Days in the Con-
federate Army, or Camp Life; Day by Day of the W. P. Lane Rangers from
April x9, z86, to May so, x865 (1876; reprint, ed. by Bell I. Wiley, Jackson,
Tennessee, 1954), 199, 200oo, 204, 205.
70fficial Records, Series II, Vol. VII, 20o8-2og, 209-210.
8Heartsill, Fourteen Hundred and Ninety-one Days, 209; Charles P. Bosson,
History of the Forty-second Regiment Infantry, Massachusetts Volunteers, 1862,
1863, x864 (Boston, 1886), 436; Thomas H. Bringhurst and Frank Swigart, History
of the Forty-sixth Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, September, x86z-September,
x865 (Logansport, Indiana, 1888), 13o.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed September 20, 2014.