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

  A Rare Photo of Libby Prison Under the Confederacy



The First Reproduction of a Photograph Showing this Most Famous of all Prisons While in Confederate Hands

The negative of this war-time photograph of Libby Prison was destroyed in the Richmond conflagration of 1865. Positives from this negative, taken by Rees of Richmond inside the Confederate lines during the War, were never sold. Its publication in this HISTORY is its first appearance. Remarkable also is the fact that the central figure in the group of three in the foreground is Major Thomas P. Turner, commandant of Libby Prison and of Belle Isle. Major Turner was prominent in prison work almost from the beginning to the end of the war. He excited the enmity of a number of his prisoners, and it was expected that he would be tried after the surrender. No charges, however, were brought against him, and he was released. The whole number of Union prisoners confined in Libby Prison from the outbreak of the war to its close is estimated in round figures at 125,000. The books used in the office of Libby Prison and containing names, regiment, date of capture, etc., of every Federal officer and private that ever passed its doors, were deposited in Washington. The books were found to be carefully and accurately kept by the chief-clerk, E. W. Ross.


This image is available at the Library of Congress.  However, there is no on-line digital image, so a print would have to be ordered.

page 57  in 1911 book

Hit Counter
visits to this page.
Page last revised05/24/2006

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.