The Texas in the Civil War Message Board

Re: Prison Canyon, Camp Verde, Texas

Dear Mr. Luther,
I am grateful for the threads you have posted re Prison Canyon...they are most helpful and instructive, and of great interest to me, having only a few months ago, learned that my great Grandfather, known to us in Australia as Frank Williams, but who turns out to be Ira Coan, was one of the Prison Canyon prisoners. This lifelong mystery (I am 64) has opened up a whole world...as I am 14,000 words into the novel about his life, I am eager too learn about conditions there. Perhaps you could be kind enough to give me a couple of pointers (where to look). He was with the 8th reg in Ft Bliss in 1860, having joined the Army in 56, and Indian scouting till the war.
We (family) had always understood (from his newspaper obituary in 1914, that he and 5 mates had escaped to Matamoros, sailed back to NY and asked for their money. They were told they could have their money when they signed on for another 3 years, at which they signed on...Ira saw service in the NY riots, in which his cousin Titus Munson Coan was a medical orderly and surgeon. He then deserted on 11 Aug 63, arriving in Australia via Liverpool on 26 Nov 63. He married, and worked as a cooper (family trade) in Mackay Australia, ill 1872, when he went to California living in Watsonville till 84, when he returned to Australia (his mother died in upstate NY in 84...possible connection).
With best wishes
Paul (Coan) Williams

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Prison Canyon, Camp Verde, Texas
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Re: Prison Canyon, Camp Verde, Texas