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

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

pen and ink so as to resemble a printed newspaper. The first issue
was a single sheet, lettered on both sides, the size being about nine
and one-half inches by twelve. The edition of March 1 contained a
map of the prison grounds and designated the supposed lanes of
travel as Mule Avenue, Soap Street, Water Street, Shin-Bone Alley,
Cat Alley, and Park Square.a4
The Confederates apparently made attempts to persuade pris-
oners to join the Southern army, and on occasion enjoyed slight
success. During the summer or fall of 1864 an orderly sergeant
and a private of the 2nd New Hampshire Cavalry took the oath
of allegiance to the Confederacy."5 As a body the prisoners seem,
however, to have been loyal not only to the United States but also
to the Lincoln administration.6
Some of the prisoners felt they were obligated to escape to
their own lines if possible. In the latter part of 1864 over fifty got
out through a small, crude tunnel, but most were quickly recap-
tured.37 Earlier, while Camp Ford housed mostly Federal officers,
two breaks had been planned. In the more elaborate of these a few
of the officers, apparently headed by Colonel Charles C. Nott,
made careful calculations of distances and began work on a
tunnel to emerge beyond a large tree about a hundred feet north
of the stockade. Great care was taken to keep the project a
secret, the dirt from the tunnel being ingeniously scattered about
the camp in such a way that no suspicion was aroused. Some of
the men involved gave thought to the possibility, once they were
outside the tunnel, of overpowering the guard, arming them-
selves, destroying the Confederate arsenal at Tyler, and riding for
the Union lines in Louisiana on the horses of the guard. This
84Bosson, Forty-second Massachusetts, 429; Duganne, Twenty Months in the De-
partment of the Gulf, 339; Woldert, History of Tyler and Smith County, 40; Baker,
Camp Ford, 39, 41.
s8New York Herald, November 6, 1864, p. 8.
86In the fall of 1864, when exchanges under the general agreement of 1862 were
in abeyance, the Marshall Texas Republican, October 14, 1864, p. 1, asserted that
the reason was the fear of the Federal government that virtually all Federal pris-
oners if released would vote against Lincoln in November. That this claim was
preposterous is suggested by the outcome of a mock election held at Camp Ford on
election day, 1864. According to A. J. H. Duganne, "Life in Rebel Prison: The First
Exchange," Beadle's Monthly, I, 148, the vote was Lincoln, 1504; McClellan, 687;
Vallandigham, one; Governor Morton, one.
S3Swiggett, The Bright Side of Prison Life, 110-111.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 26, 2015.