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Credits and Sources

The Camp Ford webpage was adapted from reports authored by Alston V. Thoms, who directed the archeological excavations at the site in 1997. Additional text, including the Camp Ford/Civil War Timeline, was written by TBH Co-Editor Susan Dial and Contributing Editor Steve Dial.

Dr. Alston Thoms is a rofessor of anthropology at Texas A&M University. His research interests are in the archeology of western North America, especially land-use practices, tool-stone and cook-stone technology, and cultural resources management. His fieldwork in Texas spans more than 30 years, during which time he has worked closely with avocational archeologists, Native American groups, Civil War enthusiasts, and local historical organizations. Thoms is a fifth-generation Texan whose archeological interests date to his grade-school days in the Texas Panhandle when his father taught him how to find Indian campsites around playa lakes and along draws.

He graduated in 1970 from what was then West Texas State University with a degree in history and a minor in anthropology. Thoms was a Peace Corps volunteer in Brazil for three years before entering graduate school at Texas Tech University. He earned an M.A. in anthropology from Texas Tech in 1978. He spent the 1980s in the Pacific Northwest, obtaining his Ph.D. in anthropology from Washington State University and directing several large-scale field projects. In 1990, he moved back to Texas and accepted a position at Texas A&M University where he continues to teach and conduct field projects with his students.

The Smith County Historical Society has been instrumental in preservation efforts at Camp Ford for more than 50 years. Their testing of the site in the 1980s and 1990s helped demonstrate the intact nature of the deposits, and they were a critical source in securing the funding that enabled the full investigation of the site. In addition, the society has worked diligently in pursuit of a final goal, a permanent visitors center and interpretive museum at the site.

A history of Camp Ford, the prisoners, their military units, and the engagements during which they were captured.
Website of the Smith County Historical Society.
A concise history of Camp Ford.
Excellent source of information on the Civil War and a new webpage on Camp Ford, with chapters from Twenty Months in the Department of the Gulf, written in 1865 by former Camp Ford POW A.J.H. Duganne, reproduced with period illustrations.

Print Sources

Thoms, Alston V., editor
2000   Uncovering Camp Ford: Archaeological Interpretations of a Confederate Prisoner-of-War Camp in East Texas. Reports of Investigations 1. Center for Ecological Archaeology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.

Thoms, Alston V.
1998   Camp Ford: A Civil-War-Era Prisoner-of-War Camp. Cultural Resource Management News and Views 10(1):9-13.