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    Confederate Texas: The Old Flag Civil War Prison Camp Newspaper. Four pages, 9.5" x 11.5", March 1, 1864, Camp Ford, Tyler, Texas. This early reproduction of the second of only three issues of the handwritten Confederate prison camp newspaper the Old Flag includes articles on the celebration of George Washington's birthday, an "original poem from Lt. Col. A. J. H. Duganne" entitled "Washington", and colorful local news, all written with a touch of humor.

    Because there was no printing press at Confederate P.O.W. Camp Ford, near Tyler, Texas, the original three Old Flag newspapers were handwritten with a steel pen on un-ruled paper in imitation of print. Due to this laborious process of producing the newspaper in the prison camp, only one copy of each of the three issues was made. That one copy was passed around to be read aloud to groups of prisoners throughout Camp Ford. After the newspaper had circulated throughout the prison camp, it was returned to P.O.W. William May, a captain with the 23rd Connecticut, who produced the three issues. According to an accompanying copy of a letter written in 1962 by noted Texana dealer William M. Morrison of Waco, Captain May was "paroled and took [the] 3 [original] issues with him and had a plate made and a few copies run off, some say only 50 or so were made." This issue is possibly one of those original fifty reproductions.

    Camp Ford, named in honor of John S. "Rip" Ford, opened in 1862 as a conscript-training camp near Tyler. In 1863, the Confederate government ordered that it be transformed into a prison camp. Eventually, the camp became the largest Confederate prison camp west of the Mississippi River. After reports that some prisoners planned to escape, a stockade enclosing four acres was built. Inside the stockade, the prisoners were on their own to build shelters out of any available wood. Ambitious P.O.W.s also made baskets, furniture, chess pieces, pipes, and other objects which they traded with each other and with the locals. Many of these objects are advertised in the newspaper. This rare newspaper, which sheds light on the Civil War prison camp experience, has some chipping and tears along the edges; some stains. Pages one and two have almost completely separated along the center vertical fold from pages three and four. Very good. Included with this newspaper is a copy of the W. M. Morrison typed letter dated July 15, 1962, Waco, Texas.

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2009
    21st Saturday
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