Crime & Mayhem

Written Accounts
Other Sites

Back • Next


 :: Crime and Mayhem ::
Information about crime and disorder in Richmond, VA during the Civil War.

This page contains sources on various crimes, riots, and general mayhem that occurred in Richmond during the Civil War. Related pages are those on Slaves and Slavery, and Castle Thunder.

Written Accounts

Richmond Dispatch

10/30/1860; John Gorman, sailor on USS Brooklyn passes out drunk and taken to the Mayor who lets him go

Richmond Dispatch

11/1/1860; more on John Gorman, the drunken sailor

Richmond Dispatch 10/8/1861; Geo. Sheridan, Ala. soldier, goes crazy, runs through streets in underwear, leaps to death in canal at "Armory Bridge"
Richmond Dispatch 10/17/1861; J. H. Greanor's slave George attacks Dr. Wellford's slave Phebe with an axe, in the bottom near the Central depot
Richmond Dispatch 10/18/1861; details on case of axe-wielding slave of Capt. John H. Greanor
Richmond Dispatch 10/25/1861; "Extraordinary Freak" - man in drag appears on Main street
Richmond Dispatch 12/12/1861; duel takes place at the Broad Rock Race Course
Richmond Dispatch 2/10/1862; “John Taylor, charged with exposing his person in the street, was committed for want of security for his good behavior”
Richmond Dispatch 3/28/1862; Shockoe Hill Cats and Butchertown Cats are engaging in rock battles, but have not been caught yet
Richmond Dispatch 5/6/1862; owners of the YMCA hospital, established "next to Crawford's old saloon" complain about "resort for lewd females" across the street
Richmond Dispatch 5/13/1862; excellent description of the proliferation of prostitution in Richmond, of "both sexes."
Richmond Dispatch 7/22/1862; Fake provost officer murders a man - paragraph within testimony from Lt. Booker describing Provost Procedure for arrests
Richmond Dispatch 8/19/1862; Humorous – two women fight, corner 9th and Broad
Richmond Dispatch 9/1/1862; police raid Cary St., especially “that prolific locality” between 17th and 18th
Richmond Dispatch 9/8/1862; “Of Evil Name &c” Woman arrested for “indulging in horseback exercise on one of the public streets of the city in company with a person said to be a Lieutenant in the army, to the disgust of decent people…” Witnessed by the Mayor, woman was sent to jail.
Richmond Dispatch 9/20/1862; soldier stabs & kills another soldier at T. R. Stewart’s bowling alley, 10th between Main and Cary
Richmond Dispatch 9/22/1862; 2 soldiers in Castle Thunder for robbing citizen. Mayor forced to contemplate extent of his authority in city over military personnel. Slave items and prostitution as well.
Richmond Dispatch 9/23/1862; Someone stole one of the old silver communion goblets from St. Paul’s
Richmond Dispatch 10/7/1862; Patrick Fagan kills James Morrissey with single punch. Both in Whitingham’s Battery. Fagan taken to Castle Thunder.
Richmond Dispatch 10/7/1862; Mayor’s Court: James Williams, drunk soldier, sent to Castle Thunder;  Hoenniger charges men with burglary, room #44 Spotswood Hotel; slave charged with stealing money from guest at the Ballard House (discharged); free negro without papers ordered whipped for smoking a cigar in the street; another free negro threatens boy in Second Market & used “indecent language” – ordered to be whipped.
Richmond Dispatch 10/8/1862; gang of thugs roaming Church Hill
Richmond Dispatch 10/23/1862; negro convicted of stealing bushel of flour from Camp Winder bakery
Richmond Dispatch 10/30/1862; George Rollins into Castle Thunder for breaking and entering
Richmond Dispatch 11/1/1862; thieves rob City Hall
Richmond Dispatch 11/6/1862; Mayor’s Court: Jas. Pearson, of Drewry’s Bluff command, jailed for assault; woman tried for stealing $10 worth of silverware from Spotswood; details on E. Hunter Taliaferro case
Richmond Dispatch 11/17/1862; details on murder of Lt. J. O. Withmell, CSA, from England & St. Louis, killed in “alley on Cary Street, between 14th and 15th streets.” Col. B. D. Harmon present at the shooting. “The public clock” is at corner 14th and Main
Richmond Dispatch 11/17/1862; Police raid Ann Thomas’, scene of above killing. Arrest everyone.
Richmond Dispatch 11/17/1862; Richard Barry in Castle Thunder for shooting Samuel Crump, soldier, on Cary between 17th and 18th, area known as Dublin.
Richmond Dispatch 11/18/1862; More testimony in Withmell murder case. Includes some remarks of girls at Ann Thomas’ – not called prostitutes.
Richmond Dispatch 11/18/1862; Mayor keeps everyone in jail who was arrested at Ann E. Thomas’ “bawdy house”
Richmond Dispatch 12/1/1862; merchant garroted and robbed in Shockoe Slip – two assailants later captured
Richmond Dispatch 12/2/1862; “Cage Cases:” Emanuel Olliberg jailed “for exposing his person in the street;” slave arrested for killing another slave by stabbing
Richmond Dispatch 12/2/1862; Frederick Lindsey, 1TX & Mathew Pitman, 1GA, both arrested for drunken fracas at Rockett’s. Pitman to Castle Thunder, Lindsey left behind, “having had his skull broken by a skillet in the hands of a female whose house he had entered.”
Richmond Dispatch 12/2/1862; Capt. Jackson Warner’s (prison commissary) horse stolen on 12th street
Richmond Dispatch 12/3/1862; long paragraph on substitute/AWOL/robbery/Castle Booker scam
Richmond Dispatch 12/3/1862; Mayor’s Court items: as usual, many slave items; James A. Minor, NC soldier (see above), to Castle Booker for forgery; Emmanuel Olliberg (see yesterday) fined one dollar and released
Richmond Dispatch

12/5/1862; enormous list of court martial results

Richmond Sentinel 6/24/1864; boys are throwing stones at the Washington and Clay monuments and each other. The mayor clamps down and orders all offenders arrested. Brief description of a rock battle between boys on Gamble's and Penitentiary hills
Richmond Examiner 6/30/1864; hilarious account of a "fistic scene."
Richmond Sentinel 7/1/1864; house of "ill fame" is broken up by police. Women there "exposed their persons in the windows, and halloed at, threw at and spit upon all passers by."
Richmond Sentinel 8/5/1864; items from the Mayor's docket: two negro girls are thrashed for calling a white man "poor white trash;" a boy escapee from the Alms House is sent back there after stoning a man at the Petersburg depot

Richmond Sentinel

11/7/1864; two boys arrested near the Second Baptist Church for throwing rocks. They are members of the "basin cats."

See Also:


Page last updated on 07/01/2008