Camp Ford LbNA # 25792
|Placed Date||Sep 23 2006|
|Last Update||Apr 5 2013|
*The 'cannon' box was reported missing recently. I will try to check on the box soon and leave an update if necessary. Yep, it's missing. Since it was one our son made, we would like him to do the replacement. Bear with us while we work on re-carving and finding it a new home.
**I used blue, gray, brown and black for these if you're bringing your markers.
Camp Ford was the largest POW camp west of the Mississippi during the U.S. Civil War. It began as a Confederate training camp and started being used as a military prison in 1863. At one point it held over 5,300 men. It closed in 1865. For more information about it’s history, visit: www.campford.org. It’s not very big, but there is a nice interpretive trail to follow. It is open daily dawn to dusk and there is no admission fee. Chances are you will be the only one there if you go. It is not usually a very busy place, but they do have a Civil War re-enactment and encampment each spring (usually during the Azalea Festival) which is quite interesting, but could make letterboxing rather difficult if you decide to go that weekend.
From Tyler, traveling NE, take 271 N. Cross loop 323 and go approximately .7 miles. Turn right at Camp Ford Memorial Parkway. There is a Valero gas station on the right side immediately before your turn. As soon as you turn right, Camp Ford will be on your left. There is an entrance driveway to enter. Park and head toward the shelter with the history of Camp Ford information boards inside.
When you’re ready for the box, head to the interpretive trail facing East. Cross the small bridge with wooden railings. There will be a small cabin on your right. Follow the trail as it curves around to the right. You will pass the ‘Expanded Stockade’ information board. Continue until you reach the spot where the trail makes a ‘Y’. Veer off toward your left. You will continue to an area with 4 signs. Stand facing the ‘Prison Life and Recreation’ board. Position your body facing due east and you will see a large pine tree with many small broken branches up it’s trunk. Walk to this tree and stand on it's right side facing the same direction (due east). Look toward your right and you will see a large pine tree with a smaller pine tree growing right next to it. From where you are standing, walk about 18 steps to these two trees. The bases of these trunks are only about 8" apart. The box is hidden underneath pine debris between these two trees.
Head back down the trail until you reach the ‘Y’ again. Take a left continuing on down the trail. You will walk between 2 ‘End ADA Access’ signs. Follow the trail as it curves around. You will come to another bridge with wooden rails. Cross the bridge and take a left. You will come to another sign toward the end of the trail titled ‘Camp Ford Then and Now’. From the sign walk 21 steps and turn back toward the sign. Look West and you will see a large pine tree with a large hollow at the base. The box is on the West side of the tree about 2 feet from the base of the trunk hidden under some pine debris.
(Note: Our 9 year old son thought this one up and carved it by himself. This was his first one and he was quite excited about the whole process. Let us know what you think.)
Please note there is poison ivy in the area. Please take necessary precautions and keep your eyes on the lookout for it.
Please re-hide the boxes well and let us know of condition, etc.
Thanks and enjoy!