Camp Fisk and Its Importance to the Men on the Sultana
A parole camp was set up four miles outside of Vicksburg simply by accident. In late-February 1865, Col. H.A.M. Henderson of the Confederate Prison Bureau contacted the Union authorities in Vicksburg and requested that food and new clothing be sent to the prisoners at Cahaba Prison, as had been done in December 1864. This time however, Capt. Archie Fisk, a Union officer, suggested that instead of taking the food and clothing to the prisoners, perhaps the prisoners could be brought to Vicksburg since the war was almost over and they would soon be released anyways. The prisoners would still be under Confederate control but they would be clothed, fed, and taken care of by the Federal government. A deal was soon struck and by the first week in April, almost 5,000 Union prisoners were being taken care of at Camp Fisk, named in honor of Capt. Archie Fisk. From there, the men would soon be sent north on a few government contracted steamboats, including the Sultana.