State Penitentiary

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 :: State Penitentiary ::
Information about the Virginia State Penitentiary in Richmond, VA during the Civil War.

located at the western terminus of Byrd Street, northwest of Gamble's Hill

Written Accounts

Richmond Dispatch 6/25/1861; Prisoner of war and a civilian spy are brought to Richmond and confined in "the large white building on the hill leading to Hollywood Cemetery" [probably VA Penitentiary]
Richmond Dispatch 7/2/1861; description of fire at the Virginia State Penitentiary
Richmond Enquirer 7/2/1861; brief notice of a fire at the Virginia Penitentiary
Richmond Whig 7/2/1861; fire at the State Penitentiary
Richmond Dispatch 7/3/1861; description of the role of the Garde Lafayette in putting out the fire at the Penitentiary
Richmond Enquirer 7/3/1861; damage at the Penitentiary due to fire is estimated at $50,000
Richmond Dispatch 7/4/1861; damage from fire at Penitentiary less than feared
Richmond Dispatch 7/8/1861; damage at Penitentiary is less than earlier supposed
Richmond Whig 7/24/1861; escape attempt at the State Penitentiary
Richmond Dispatch 4/10/1862; Man escapes from the State Penitentiary
Richmond Enquirer 4/18/1862; man pardoned from the Penitentiary after serving time for placing obstructions on the Central railroad
Richmond Dispatch 5/27/1862; prisoners from state penitentiary mow grass on Capitol Square
Richmond Dispatch 12/8/1862; 3 men escape from state penitentiary
Richmond Whig 1/16/1864; description of pardons handed out by Governor Smith, including several participants in the bread riot
Richmond Whig 3/29/1864; Detective Cashmeyer has been reinstated, and a Detective who was in the Penitentiary for shooting a woman has been pardoned by the Governor
The Black Swan Aug. - Oct. 1929; "The Libby Lion;" article written by the son of R. R. "Dick" Turner, describing his boyhood and experiences with his father. Notes that his Dick Turner was "on the staff of General Winder, with the rank of Captain, and was assigned to duty at Libby Prison, as commissary." Gives a good description of the staff at Libby, especially Erastus Ross. Mentions meeting General Lee after the fall of Richmond, seeing his father in one of the dungeons of Libby. Description of Dick Turner's escape, subsequent recapture and uncertainty regarding Turner's fate in the Penitentiary; notes that Captain Dick Winder was able to destroy the charges against Turner by getting the guard drunk.

Page last updated on 07/01/2008