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

  Within the Bombarded Town


"Castle Thunder" On April 4, 1865 ‑ A Petersburg Tobacco Factory Used as a Prison

Within the Bombarded Town

These buildings in Petersburg, formerly tobacco warehouses, had been used, when this photograph was made, for the temporary confinement of Union soldiers captured during the numerous sorties of the winter of 1864‑65. On account of the continual bombardment on both sides and the number of shots which fell within the town, the prisoners who languished within these walls called them "Castle Thunder." In the South commercial buildings that already existed were transformed to a large extent to serve for the detention of prisoners. Tobacco factories were often used for this purpose; the light and ventilation were good, and comparatively little machinery was used, so that they could be easily cleared. At "Castle Thunder" there was but little besides tobacco with which to feed either the prisoners or their captors. When the  Federal troops finally occupied the city, they found the warehouses full of tobacco and gleefully helped themselves to it. Not a single source of supply of food was to be found within the town. Rations from the Federal stores were issued to a large number of the needy and hungry inhabitants.

Inside The Prison Yard

page 89  in 1911 book

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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.