From the Richmond Daily Enquirer, 8/21/1862

THE TAKING OF CASTLE THUNDER. - On Monday last, the exodus from Castle Godwin and its populous appurtenances was begun and completed, and "Castle Thunder," the new prison established in its place, by Captain Alexander, Assistant Provost Marshal, became at once the military prison, guard house and barracks, for the eastern section of the district. - The removal was conducted with admirable expedition, and its consumnation placed officers, guards, police and prisoners in a position far more comfortable than they had enjoyed for some time. "Castle Thunder" is identical to Greanorís Tobacco Factory, quite an extensive structure, situated on Cary street, near the corner of 18th. It had been used as a prison for some time past, and between the debris of material previously used in the manufacture of the "weed," and the accumulated mud and dirt brought in by used up Yankees afterwards, the interior, from attic to earth, was massed with filth, in many places several inches in depth. With the aid of pick-axes, shovels and brooms, the floors and stairs were cleaned a few days before the removal, the walls were neatly whitewashed, new apartments were erected, gas was introduced in the dark places, and the premises generally were cleaned up and improved, so that, upon the arrival of the exiles of Castle Godwin, everything was in "apple-pie order" to receive them.

The taste and system manifested by Capt. Alexander in the arrangement of the new prison, is, we may say, faultless. The general cleanliness of the place is the first object which strikes the visitorís sense of appreciation as he enters. The arrangement of the offices of Assistant Provost Marshal, clerks, superintendent, and police, all on the first floor in the front of the building; of the store-rooms, armory and "halls for confiscation," in the rear, and of the culinary department in the court, is as orderly, convenient, and comfortable as could be desired. The prison department is above, and is appropriately divided into sections for males, females, citizens and soldiers respectively; and still higher up is the hospital, where everything is kept in proper condition, and the patients have plenty of breathing and sleeping room. Convalescents enjoy a promenade upon the roof of an adjoining wing of the building. In order to complete the system so well planned by Capt. Alexander, a series of bells, communicating with every part of the building, and forming a sort of tintinabulating telegraph, is to be added, which will greatly facilitate operations.

This is the principal military prison for the District.

Page last updated on 01/15/2008