Camp Ford had the distinction of having the most naval prisoners of any camp, North or South. There was no coordination between the branches, with each responsible for arranging the exchange of their men. By the fall of 1864, the naval prisoners, some of whom who had been held in January of 1863, were pressing for release, stating that they had been forgotten by their superiors. Negotiations stalled over Confederate demands that any exchange of the Camp Ford prisoners include the exchange of CS Admiral Franklin Buchanan, captured at Mobile Bay in August 1864. In early 1865 negotiation resumed, resulting the exchange of another 1,200 prisoners including most of the naval personnel on February 22. Final Days
???The last three months of the camp were marked by few deaths but great boredom. Although the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered on April 9, there was some thought that the Trans-Mississippi might fight on. By mid May, it was apparent that the end was near. Even so, the final exodus of the prisoners was done with order, and was the last formal exchange of the war, with the notations on the paperwork that the Confederate States had a deficiency and owed the United States more than 300 men in prisoner equivalents. The last 1,800 men marched out of the Camp on May 19, 1865 and the facility was abandoned.
???The nearly 5,500 prisoners were from every northern state with the exception of Delaware and Vermont. As you walk across these grounds remember that the struggle of these men from both North and South forged and defined our nation to the land we know today. Give this site and the memory of these men the honor that is deserved.
Included : Line drawing of Camp Ford, from Story of the 32nd Iowa Infantry, 1896