James River and Kanawha Canal

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 :: James River & Kanawha Canal ::
Information about the James River & Kanawha Canal during the Civil War.

Written Accounts

Richmond Dispatch

10/30/1860; the iron bridge "over the Dock" at the foot of 17th street is nearly completed

Richmond Dispatch 11/12/1860; drunken butcher falls into the canal and drowns
Richmond Enquirer 7/11/1861; Cannon made at Bellona Arsenal, and lying on the basin bank, have been spiked by some "Yankee spy"
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 10/25/1861; fire brigade parades and tests their new engine on the south side of the canal basin
Richmond Dispatch 4/19/1862; boy drowns in canal near Libby Prison; prisoner tried to save him, but was denied.
Richmond Enquirer 4/19/1862; man drowns in the canal at the foot of twentieth street - taken to Dr. Higginbotham at the "Confederate prison in the vicinity", too late to save him
Richmond Dispatch 5/21/1862; editorial protest against skinny dippers in stream at Hollywood & canal
Richmond Dispatch 6/4/1862; long article on RR accident in city, on 8th st - two injuries, canal bridge damaged, etc. On tracks connecting R&P w/ RF&P. Also boy run over on Broad, on connecting tracts between RF&P & Va. Cent. Byrd Island Hospital and Spotswood Hotel mentioned.
Richmond Enquirer 7/5/1862; man drowns in the canal near Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Dispatch 7/16/1862; navigation of the canal is open as far as Lexington and Buchanan, having been repaired after recent rains
Richmond Dispatch 7/22/1862; body found floating near “the gauge dock of the basin.” Supposed to be a soldier who fell in the canal near the Armory bridge a few days ago.
New York Herald 7/28/1862; wonderful general description of the city of Richmond - mentions, Hollywood, Tredegar, the Almshouse, appearance of the prisons, Odd Fellows Hall, and the James River and Kanawha Canal
Richmond Enquirer 8/4/1862; canal basin was drained to prevent stagnation of water - many animal corpses found at the bottom
Richmond Dispatch 8/14/1862; James River & Kanawha Canal is in good order, but there is a scarcity of labor and boats.
Richmond Dispatch 9/8/1862; S. W. Glover, K41VA, killed in canal boat accident – smashed head on bridge
Richmond Dispatch 9/29/1862; dead infant found in millrace near Haxall’s Mill
Richmond Enquirer 9/29/1862; dead infant found in the canal between Haxall's Mill and the Danville Depot
Richmond Dispatch 10/1/1862; Interesting paragraph on shortage of canal boats. Many sunk as obstructions. Not enough in service.
Richmond Dispatch 11/5/1862; leak in canal above Tredegar quickly repaired.
Richmond Examiner 11/10/1862; Canal boat sinks near Tredegar Iron Works
Richmond Dispatch 11/22/1862; attempted robbery on the 17th street bridge over the canal
Richmond Dispatch 11/24/1862; 2 drowning victims fished from canal at foot of 8th street. One a Sussex county civilian, the other G. W. Gentry, soldier from 3SC, d. 11/20
Richmond Dispatch 11/29/1862; space on either side of the canal bridge on 8th street to be fenced in, in order to prevent accidents
Richmond Dispatch 12/5/1862; “substantial railing” in place north side of canal, east of 8th St., both sides of bridge.
Richmond Dispatch 12/9/1862; body of negro man fished out of the canal basin
Richmond Examiner 4/6/1863; Canal Basin bridge at 8th street, which collapsed under the weight of passing Yankee prisoners, is annoying by its absence
Richmond Sentinel 4/29/1863; Eighth Street bridge over the canal has been rebuilt after its collapse during transfer of prisoners
Richmond Sentinel 8/14/1863; advocates a fence be built around the canal basin - notes that several people drowned there in the past year after stumbling into the basin
Richmond Whig 1/12/1864; men and boys are skating on the canal basin; notes that for this to occur, the freeze has been very hard
Richmond Examiner 3/3/1864; man drowns in canal opposite Libby Prison
Richmond Sentinel 6/7/1864; many patients in hospitals cannot be furloughed because their homes are in Yankee hands; those along the canal are requested to take them.
Richmond Sentinel 6/13/1864; some of Sheridan's captured men arrive via canal packet. "Ten or fifteen" prisoners from Lee's front arrive at Libby.
Richmond Examiner 6/30/1864; the canal basin is nasty - if it is drained, murdered corpses are likely to be found

Richmond Sentinel

11/1/1864; dead man found floating in the Canal Basin, near the Gallego mills - body had been in the body a week or more

Richmond Whig 4/12/1865; the canal will be open again within a few days
Richmond Dispatch 6/1/1889; gondola "Chimborazo" is making passenger runs up the canal. This may be the same canal boat used during the war. 

Page last updated on 07/08/2008