TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A historic Smith County monument on the Tyler square has been defaced.
The Smith County CSA Confederate monument has been tagged with the initials M.R. or M.B., and a corner brick was taken from the base. At the time KLTV reported the damage to Smith County Sheriff’s Office, they had not received prior reports of the damage. The damage was not present on the monument as of Tuesday evening.
Thursday morning a Smith County public information officer said a facility services crew will clean the monument.
Tiffany Wright with the Smith County Historical Society said that the monument was placed on the square in 1936 as part of the Texas Centennial Celebration. Several other monuments were placed around Tyler at that time, including at Oakwood Cemetery, near Goodman Museum, and at Camp Ford.
The text on the monument reads:
SMITH COUNTY CSA
Major center of Confederate Activity during Civil War. Many distinguished men and military units served south of the largest ordnance plant, west of the Mississippi River. Manufactured “Tyler Rifles” near here. Camp Ford, located east of town, was the largest prisoner of war compound in the western confederacy. Other military activities here included a quartermaster depot, training camps, transportation depot foundry, general hospital, and medical laboratories. Two large salt works produced daily thousands of pounds of this vital commodity. At home, women, children, old men, loyal slaves raised cotton and grain for Army. Women made all their own clothes, used parched okra and yams for coffee, and made hats out of shucks and straw.