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. It is open daily and admission is free.