The Photographic History of the Civil War
                  Volume 7 -
Prisons and Hospitals

  Where 5000 Confederate Prisoners Lay Encamped



Where Five Thousand Confederate Prisoners Lay Encamped A Scene after the Battle of Spotsylvania May, 1864

On the heights above the hollow the Union sentries can be descried against the sky-line. The cluster of huts on the right-hand page is part of the Federal camp. From December, 1862, to June, 1863, the gloomiest half-year of the war for the North, the Federal army was encamped near Falmouth, Virginia, a little town on the Rappahannock River opposite Fredericksburg. The winter-quarters stretched back for miles toward Belle Plain and Aquia Creek, the bases of supplies. Continuous scouting and skirmishing went on throughout the winter, and the Confederate prisoners captured during this time were confined at Belle Plain until arrangements could be made to send them to Northern prisons. Here, also was the great quartermaster's supply depot, and these prisoners at least never lacked ample rations. They were but a few of the 462,634 Confederate soldiers who were captured during the war. This figure is that of General F. C. Ainsworth, of the United States Record and Pension Office. Of this number 247,769 were paroled on the field, and 25,796 died while in captivity. The Union soldiers captured during the war numbered 211,411, according to the same authority, and of these 16,668 were paroled on the field, and 30,1218 died while in captivity. The difference between the number of Union and Confederate prisoners is due to the inclusion in the Confederate number of the armies surrendered by Lee, Johnston, Taylor, and Kirby Smith during the months of April and May 1865. There are other estimates ‑ which differ very widely from this, which is probably as nearly correct as possible, owing to the partial destruction of the records.

pages 42 & 43  in 1911 book


  • This is a two page spread in the book, pages 42 & 43.  A larger image is available in about the same size as was in the book
  • The image on these pages is from the Library of Congress.  While it is not the exact image that is in the book, it is virtually from the same spot and angle, providing the same view of the camp.

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Page last revised02/10/2005

More Civil War Material:
American Civil War Anecdotes, Incidents and Articles.

This online edition of The Photographic History of the Civil War includes improved images using digital images from the Library of Congress, when available. It also includes additional images that are either cropped from the Library of Congress digital images or are related to the specific topic being discussed in the article or page.

Volume 7 of the History is the first volume I'm publishing online simply because it was the one I was interested in when I decided to publish.

More to come, I hope.


Copyright 2004 Michael P. Goad  All rights reserved.