Sex & Prostitution

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 :: Sex & Prostitution ::
Information about sex and prostitution in Richmond, VA during the Civil War.

Too colorful to ignore, this page will highlight issues of sexuality, prostitution, and the bawdy side of life in the Confederate Capital.

Written Accounts

Richmond Dispatch 6/20/1861; row of houses behind the Exchange Hotel are occupied by parties of a "dubious and uncertain character"
Richmond Dispatch 10/25/1861; "Extraordinary Freak" - man in drag appears on Main street
Richmond Dispatch 3/10/1862; Wm. Carson, Tredegar operative, in trouble involving Ann Beazley & “house of ill fame” in Butchertown
Richmond Dispatch 3/20/1862; G. W. Alexander raids house near corner of Cary & 13th. Arrested “some 12 or 15 persons of bad character.”
Richmond Dispatch 4/28/1862; two prostitutes arrested outside Libby Prison and confined in Libby for the night
Richmond Dispatch 5/1/1862; Miss Minerva Meredith (future bread rioter) has endured a combined verbal assault – her character is attested to by local police; Mayor Mayo referred to as “his royal rotundity”
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; appeal for ladies to send old garments and rags to Chimborazo for use as dressings

Richmond Dispatch 5/13/1862; excellent description of the proliferation of prostitution in Richmond, of "both sexes."
Richmond Dispatch 5/21/1862; editorial protest against skinny dippers in stream at Hollywood & canal
Richmond Dispatch 7/3/1862; “Strong-minded female” captured and interrogated by G. W. Alexander
Richmond Dispatch 7/8/1862; Wet nurse needed at Robertson Hospital
Richmond Dispatch 7/17/1862; 2 negroes attempt rapes near Coal pits, Chesterfield County. Mrs. Rudd raped, Mrs. Corse escaped. First rapist, slave of Wm. E. Martin, to hang. #2 to be transported away.
Richmond Dispatch 7/26/1862; August Fisk, soldier, “accidentally” steals $500 from Zella Glenman, “a nymph, residing at the sinful abode of Ella Johnson, in the rear of the Exchange”
Richmond Dispatch 7/28/1862; Maria Underwood sent to Castle Godwin – tried to enlist in Palmetto Sharpshooters in disguise
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 9/11/1862; 26 POWs arrive, plus laundress of 26 Pa., who was sent to Castle Thunder
Richmond Dispatch 9/12/1862; list of commissioned officers POW at Williamsburg & arrived at Richmond. Two “vivandiers” also caught & put into Castle Thunder
Richmond Dispatch 9/22/1862; Thomas’ disorderly house near Battery #8 raided. Booze seized. Major Atkinson issues a warning to him.
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 9/29/1862; Three Irishmen from Camp Lee jailed for drunken fight, including Barney McNunn and Jno. Brennan; man charged with keeping disorderly house near Dr. Higginbotham’s Hospital – brawling with wife, etc.
Richmond Enquirer 9/29/1862; man charged with operating a "disorderly house" near Dr. Higginbotham's Hospital
Richmond Dispatch 11/8/1862; Mayor’s Court: J. R. Anderson slave whipped for stealing wood;  Mulatto arraigned and whipped for “impudence” to the watchman of the Spotswood Hotel; Police raid Locust Alley – several prostitutes arrested, as well as their “visitors”
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 11/18/1862; 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 11/19/1862; More testimony on Ann Thomas case. Police say house of evil fame. Mr. Thos. M. Hiltzheimer Jr, key witness, known to have “had intimate relations with some of the parties residing in the house.” Police arrested total of 9 men and 10 women there. House known as “Mulberry Grove.” Mayor sets bail for Ann Thomas at $500, $200 for other women in house”
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 12/3/1862; 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 12/4/1862; female/male arrested at American Hotel. False alarm.
Richmond Enquirer 12/16/1862; Martha Ball, nurse at GH#1, convicted of being a "woman of the town"
Richmond Examiner 6/30/1864; hilarious account of a "fistic scene."
Richmond Dispatch 7/16/1863; Lt. Buford, aka Alice Williams, sent to Mississippi from Castle Thunder.
Richmond Sentinel 4/22/1864; Dr. Mary Walker, captured in the west, arrives in Richmond (in male attire) and conveyed to Castle Thunder, Libby having no female accommodations
Richmond Whig 4/22/1864; Dr. Mary Walker arrives in Richmond, and is taken to Castle Thunder. She is "about thirty years old and quite ugly"
Richmond Sentinel 5/2/1864; Dr. Mary Walker's appearance in Richmond causes quite an excitement - she is taken to Gen. Winder's office, then to Castle Thunder.
Richmond Whig 5/2/1864; Mary Walker is marched from Castle Thunder to Gen. Winder's office, still in male attire, and creates quite a stir
Richmond Sentinel 6/25/1864; Mary Jenkins, nurse at Howard's Grove, found street wandering.
Richmond Examiner 6/29/1864; Details of the imprisonment of Dr. Mary Walker in Castle Thunder
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 7/7/1864; Chimborazo patients caught in a "disorderly house"
Richmond Whig 7/7/1864; two Chimborazo patients caught in a "house of ill-fame" in Rocketts
Richmond Examiner 7/19/1864; department at Castle Thunder is reserved for "depraved and abandoned women"
Richmond Sentinel 7/26/1864; Dr. Mary Walker is taken to Gen. Gardner's office, desiring to be released
Richmond Whig 7/26/1864; notes on Dr. Mary Walker parading the streets, on the way to Gen. Gardner's office seeking a parole. Also remarks on her lack of good looks and elicit correspondence while here
Richmond Sentinel 10/31/1864; two females who had been serving for two years under Gen. Early were found out and put in Castle Thunder; details on two other prisoners: one male slave and one white female
Richmond Whig 10/31/1864; two women, masquerading as soldiers, brought to Castle Thunder. They had served with General Early for two years

Page last updated on 07/17/2008