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Chapter 12: Prison City, Camp Ford: Largest Confederate Prisoner-of-war Camp in the Trans-Mississippi by James M. Smallwood

Edited by Kenneth W. Howell University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 12

Prison City, Camp Ford: Largest Confederate Prisoner-of-war Camp in the Trans-Mississippi

by James M. Smallwood

Once the Civil War began, both North and South established detention camps for captives. Well-known Confederate holding centers were in Richmond, Macon, Savannah, Raleigh, Goldsborough, and Andersonville, the last considered notorious because of its high death rate. In the Trans-Mississippi Theater, Camp Ford in Smith County near Tyler became the biggest of the prison camps west of the Mississippi. At one time it held more than 5,200 men, perhaps as many as 5,550 when it reached its peak occupation in May of 1864.1 Four miles northeast of Tyler, Camp Ford originated as a training center for Confederate volunteers and, later, for conscripts. Established in April of 1862, it was named in honor of the noted Texan, Col. John S. Ford. Other temporary training sites once dotted the Smith County countryside, but Camp Ford, near Ray’s Creek across from a freshwater spring and near the Tyler–Marshall Road, became a permanent installation when in 1863 it underwent a transformation and emerged as a prisoner-of-war site, one that had the lowest death rate of any large camp during the war.2

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Part One

Edited by Kenneth W. Howell University of North Texas Press PDF
Medium 9781574414493

Chapter 8

Edited by Kenneth W. Howell University of North Texas Press PDF

CHAPTER 8

The Democratic Party, the Ku Klux

Klan, and the Politics of Fear by

Carl H. Moneyhon

T

he era of Reconstruction in Texas, as elsewhere in the South, was marked by a wave of violence that revisionist historian Eric Foner has described as lacking a “counterpart in the American experience or in that of the other Western Hemisphere societies that abolished slavery in the nineteenth century.” Historians have long recognized that central to the story of this upheaval was the secret organization known as the Ku Klux Klan. Foner, synthesizing Reconstruction scholarship, concluded that while racial, social, and political conflict had been widespread in the South from the end of the Civil War, that strife increased and intensified with the appearance of the Klan. Foner identified the

Klan as the embodiment of what he called the “counterrevolutionary terror” that swept over the former Confederate States after 1867. What was this powerful organization? Foner summed up the work of others when he described the Klan movement as a popular uprising by dissatisfied whites who opposed the course of Reconstruction. It served as a “military force” protecting the interests of the planter class, the Democratic party, and all whites who wished to restore as much as possible the white supremacist order of the antebellum South, and ultimately helped undo

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Chapter 3: The Impending Crisis: A Texas Perspective on the Causes of the Civil War by James M. Smallwood

Edited by Kenneth W. Howell University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 3

The Impending Crisis: A Texas Perspective on the Causes of the Civil War

by James M. Smallwood

Although various economic, political, and social factors help explain the coming of the Civil War, it had only one predominant cause: slavery. Like their Southern brethren, Texans certainly understood the importance slavery played in stirring wartime sentiments. No single event stressed this point more clearly than the Secession Convention of Texas, where elected delegates spelled out in detail their reasons for leaving the Union on February 1, 1861. One need only consider their “Declaration of Causes” to understand that slavery and its extension was the basic cause of the war.1

Illustration 2 The Southern Confederacy a fact!!! Acknowledged by a mighty prince and faithful ally. Courtesy Library of Congress

In their declaration of causes why the state was leaving the Union, Texas secessionists asserted that when their state joined the Union, “she was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery—[and that] the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits . . . should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy [the Union]. . . . But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them? The controlling majority of the Federal Government, under various pretenses and disguises has so administered the same as to exclude the citizens of the Southern States, unless under odious and unconstitutional restrictions, from all the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power . . . as a means of destroying the institutions of Texas and her sister slave-holding states.”

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Chapter 16: Feed the Troops or Fight the Drought: The Dilemma Texas Beef Contractors Faced in 1861–1865 by Carol Taylor

Edited by Kenneth W. Howell University of North Texas Press ePub

Chapter 16

Feed the Troops or Fight the Drought: The Dilemma Texas Beef Contractors Faced in 1861–1865

by Carol Taylor

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Confederate veteran A. T. Ball expressed a feeling held by all former Confederate soldiers when he wrote, “If we could have gotten a little something to eat, why, I would be fighting for our beloved South today.” Other Confederate veterans remembered having little or nothing to eat, subsisting on mule meat in the days before the surrender of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, feasting on turnips and green persimmons or parching the corn found on the ground after horses were fed. Without a doubt, the recurring theme of most memoirs and regimental histories of the Southern armies is the lack of food and near starvation of the troops. The deprivation of food was extremely severe east of the Mississippi River where population ratios were higher and arable lands were more likely to be used for the production of cotton than those found west of the Mississippi. Yet, west of the Mississippi River, soldiers complained of a shortage of provisions. Lt. Julius Glesecke of Company G, Fourth Texas Cavalry, Sibley’s Brigade, a predominantly German unit, noted the shortage of provisions as early as the second of November 1861, less than two weeks into the march to Santa Fe.1

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