From the Richmond Whig, 4/6/1865
ESCAPE OF THE CONVICTS FROM THE PENITENTIARY - OVER ONE
HUNDRED RECAPTURED. - Monday morning, pending the excitement and confusion
growing out of the evacuation and burning of the city by the Confederate
Government, the three hundred and fifty odd convicts confined in the State
Penitentiary managed to effect a grand jail delivery of themselves. It seems the
Penitentiary guard became alarmed at the demonstration of the convicts and ran
away, leaving Mr. Colin Bass, with several assistants, to manage the convicts
themselves, which they were unable to do, the convicts being already out of
their wards. The convicts, upon gaining their liberty, broke into the store
rooms and works shops, pillaged to their hearts content, and wound up by setting
fire to the institution and putting out in every direction, but generally
towards the city to assist in the carnival of fire and robbery then in progress.
The fire at the institution was soon suppressed before much damage resulted.
This morning we learn that over one hundred of the escaped convicts have been
recaptured to the institution.