Union Army POW Cemetery -- Hempstead TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 30° 06.625 W 096° 07.846
14R E 776481 N 3334495
Quick Description: A state historic marker at what looks like a vacant parcel of land marks the site of the cemetery for Union Army POWs held at nearby Camp Groce outside of Hempstead TX
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 4/24/2017 9:05:16 AM
Waymark Code: WMVJ7C
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 6

Long Description:
The Union Army POW Cemetery is located on Austin Branch Road, about 2.5 miles west of downtown Hempstead. As recently as the turn of the century, the graves were marked with small cedar crosses.

From Find-A-Grave: (visit link)

"Cemetery notes and/or description:
Located: Austin Branch Road 2.5 miles west of its intersection with 25th Street in Hempstead

Several Confederate military facilities were positioned near Hempstead (2.5 mi. w), an important railroad junction, during the Civil War. Camp Groce (then about 6 mi. e) was a prisoner-of-war stockade established on the plantation of Leonard Waller Groce (1806-1873). Union Army prisoners who died at various camps were buried hear this site on the McDade Plantation, adjacent to the McDade family cemetery (about 25 yds. ne). The cemeteries were near a narrow gauge spur off the "Austin Branch" of the Houston & Texas Central Railroad, built from Houston in 1858. A yellow fever epidemic in 1864 resulted in many deaths at Camp Groce and other camps, chronicled by Aaron T. Sutton (1841-1927). a Union prisoner in Company B, 83rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Sutton noted in his journal the presence of more than 100 fresh graves here soon after his arrival at Camp Groce in 1864. Sutton later escaped from the stockade and made his way to Beaumont (115 mi. e) on foot. Crude crosses made of cedar limbs marked the prisoners' graves through the early 1900s, according to local residents. But the stream-fed woodland was cleared in the 1940s for pasture land, and all surface evidence of the cemetery was lost."

The state historic marker at the cemetery reads as follows:

"OLD UNION P.O.W. CEMETERY

Several Confederate military facilities were positioned near Hempstead (2.5 mi. W), an important railroad junction, during the Civil War. Camp Groce (then about 6 mi. E) was a Prisoner-Of-War stockade established on the plantation of Leonard Waller Groce (1806-1873).

Union Army prisoners who died at various camps were buried near this site on the McDade Plantation, adjacent to the McDade family cemetery (about 25 yds. NE). The cemeteries were near a narrow gauge spur off the "Austin Branch" of the Houston & Texas Central Railroad, built from Houston in 1858.

A yellow fever epidemic in 1864 resulted in many deaths at Camp Groce and other camps, chronicled by Aaron T. Sutton (1841-1927), a Union prisoner in Company B, 83rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Sutton noted in his journal the presence of more than 100 fresh graves here soon after his arrival at Camp Groce in 1864. Sutton later escaped from the stockade and made his way to Beaumont (115 mi. E) on foot.

Crude crosses made of cedar limbs marked the prisoners' graves through the early 1900s, according to local residents, but the stream-fed woodland was cleared in the 1940s for pasture land, and all surface evidence of the cemetery was lost.

Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986"
Date cemetery was established: 1863

Visiting hours:
dawn-dusk daily


Website pertaining to the cemetery: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
Please submit a photo(s) taken by you of your visit to the location (non-copyrighted photos only). GPS photos are also accepted with the location in the background, and old vacation photos are accepted. If you are not able to provide a photo, then please describe your visit or give a story about the visit.

We would also like to hear about any of your deceased family members who may be laid to rest in the cemetery.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
Benchmark Blasterz visited Union Army POW Cemetery -- Hempstead TX 3/13/2017 Benchmark Blasterz visited it
WalksfarTX visited Union Army POW Cemetery -- Hempstead TX 11/25/2016 WalksfarTX visited it
Raven visited Union Army POW Cemetery -- Hempstead TX 1/30/2015 Raven visited it

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