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 :: 1865 Richmond Newspapers ::
1865 Newspapers in Richmond, VA during the Civil War.

Richmond Sentinel 1/13/1865; Note to Phoebe Pember in the personal ads.
Richmond Sentinel 1/27/1865; Luther Libby a POW of Yankees
Richmond Sentinel 1/28/1865; list of hospitals in Richmond and to which hospitals soldiers from the various states are sent
Franklin (PA) Repository 2/22/1865; announcement of the death of Gen. John H. Winder
Richmond Sentinel 3/20/1865; Luther Libby's return to Richmond
Richmond Sentinel 3/21/1865; Winder-Jackson Battalion; including Negroes to parade
Richmond Dispatch 3/23/1865; negroes employed at Winder & Jackson join the army
Richmond Enquirer 3/23/1865; description of the Winder-Jackson Battalion's parade at Capitol square; call for Richmond ladies to produce a flag for this unit
Richmond Enquirer 3/23/1865; details on recruitment of black troops and call for volunteers; rendezvous for negro troops is at Smith's factory, 21st street. T. P. Turner (Libby Prison) is one of the officers
Richmond Sentinel 3/23/1865; description of the Winder-Jackson Battalion's parade at Capitol square
Richmond Sentinel 3/27/1865; 1300 Yankees sent off by flag-of-truce boat, 500 Yankees arrive at Libby Prison
Richmond Sentinel 3/30/1865; slave put in Castle Thunder for helping soldiers desert
Richmond Sentinel 4/1/1865; "squad" of Yankee prisoners arrives at Libby Prison
Richmond Sentinel 4/1/1865; "the Weather;" says it has been raining very hard for the past two days.
Richmond Whig 4/1/1865; account of the funeral of John M. Daniel, former editor of the Richmond Examiner
New York Herald 4/4/1865; Details on the fall of Richmond and subsequent occupation - notes the reception of the Union soldiers in Richmond has been very pleasant
Richmond Whig 4/4/1865; excellent account of the evacuation and burning of Richmond
New York Herald 4/5/1865; Details on the Federal occupation of Richmond - notes that much railroad stock was captured at Richmond
New York Herald 4/6/1865; Details on the Federal occupation of Richmond - notes that the furniture in the White House of the Confederacy was left behind, and that Tredegar survived the fire. Libby Prison and Castle Thunder are now full of Confederate prisoners
Richmond Whig 4/6/1865; account of the escape of the prisoners from the State Penitentiary on the night of the evacuation
Richmond Whig 4/6/1865;  Official directory of Union officials in Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/6/1865; account of the escape of two unionists from Castle Thunder on evacuation night
Richmond Whig 4/6/1865; Richmond Fire Brigade has begun demolishing the ruins
Richmond Whig 4/6/1865; excellent, and lengthy, account of the evacuation and burning of Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/7/1865; Mathew Brady and artists from Harper's and Leslie's are in Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/7/1865; More hotels are wanted in Richmond - the Spottswood is the only one operating
Richmond Whig 4/7/1865; 8 paupers at the Alms House were killed in the city magazine explosion
Richmond Whig 4/7/1865; last rebel and first union patrons at the Spottswood hotel
Richmond Whig 4/7/1865; records of the Circuit Court, including deeds and wills were destroyed in the fire
Richmond Whig 4/7/1865;  Official directory of Union officials in Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/7/1865; river obstructions are being removed
Richmond Whig 4/7/1865; new (Northern) owners of the Spottswood Hotel
Richmond Whig 4/7/1865; the Southern Express Company's offices, including pending shipments, was destroyed in the fire
New York Times 4/8/1865; excellent article, sent on April 4, describing Lincoln’s visit to Richmond; states Lincoln arrived at 2 PM, throng of freed slaves, etc. Leaves Richmond at 6:30. Also notes that Admiral Farragut visited Richmond on April 4 and left the same day. Also remarks on the evacuation fire, destruction, and rumors swirling around the city.
New York Herald 4/9/1865; Description of Abraham Lincoln at the White House of the Confederacy and on the USS Malvern
Richmond Whig 4/9/1865; Official directory of US officials in Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/10/1865; Confederate prisoners housed in Libby, civilians in Castle Thunder
Richmond Whig 4/10/1865; Hospitals in Richmond have been taken over by the federals - large ones are used for Union sick and wounded
Richmond Whig 4/10/1865; description of Richmond points of interest for the "tourist and artist"
Richmond Whig 4/10/1865; Manchester, undamaged by fire, is now connected to Richmond by a pontoon bridge
Richmond Whig 4/10/1865; thoroughfares have been cleared through the streets
Richmond Whig 4/10/1865; Official directory of US officials in Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/10/1865; extensive list of property damage caused by the evacuation fire
New York Times

4/11/1865; Article describing the White House of the Confederacy, the military governance of the city, the destruction done by the fire (particularly to the mills), the newspapers in Richmond and what has become of the editors, and an extremely detailed account of the jubilee meeting at First African Baptist Church.

Richmond Whig 4/11/1865; Official directory of US officials in Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/11/1865; Maj. Gen. Silas Casey is staying at the Spottswood Hotel
Richmond Whig 4/11/1865; appeal for a city railroad to replace one the CS built to transport iron to Rocketts
Richmond Whig 4/11-12/1865; erroneous report and subsequent retraction that Mrs. Gen. Lee is very ill
New York Herald 4/12/1865; notes the visit of President Lincoln to Richmond, the parade of the XXIV Corps through town, and efforts by local capitalists [including J. R. Anderson] to bring VA back into the Union. Losses due to fire are 2/3 the city's assessed value
Richmond Whig 4/12/1865; Tredegar Iron Works remain intact because workers helped extinguish fires
Richmond Whig 4/12/1865; Defensive lines around Richmond have been left intact; many guns captured
Richmond Whig 4/12/1865; work continues to clear the streets of rubble
Richmond Whig 4/12/1865; account of the escape of a Castle Thunder prisoner on evacuation night and his subsequent work for the US authorities
Richmond Whig 4/12/1865; call for more hotels to re-open
Richmond Whig 4/12/1865; idea of city railway has been adopted by Northern capitalists
Richmond Whig 4/12/1865; the canal will be open again within a few days
Richmond Whig 4/12/1865; description of public losses in the fire; ie: bridges, etc
New York Herald 4/13/1865; excellent letter from Richmond describing the Federal occupation of Richmond, mentions Tredegar, former slaves, Rocketts, former rebel hospitals (Chimborazo, Jackson, Stuart) - All patients now at Jackson, Stuart Hospital is now a US Post Hospital. Dahlgren's body found and is being returned to Washington. Castle Thunder and Libby Prison are now holding Confederates. Also notes veneration of Robert E. Lee in Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/13/1865; bodies of Union POWS at Oakwood Cemetery can be disinterred and sent north
Richmond Whig 4/13/1865; Rocketts, the port of Richmond has resumed trade, and is being cleaned up
Richmond Whig 4/13/1865; Ballard House will be reopened as a hotel and possibly others
Richmond Whig 4/14/1865; Belle Isle is to be a refugee camp
Richmond Whig 4/14/1865; Mathew Brady has been at City Point photographing Gen. Grant & his generals
Richmond Whig 4/14/1865; A. R. Waud, among others, is staying at the Spottswood Hotel
Richmond Whig 4/14/1865; Gen. Weitzel is replaced by Gen. Ord as commander of the Richmond occupying forces
Richmond Whig 4/14/1865; pontoon bridge across the James is a great convenience
Richmond Whig 4/14/1865; it has been raining hard for the past two days in Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/15/1865; Libby Prison has 3,000 Confederate prisoners; Castle Thunder is used for criminals and Federal deserters
Richmond Whig 4/15/1865; Mathew Brady has forwarded his negatives of the burnt district to Washington and will continue to photograph
Richmond Whig 4/15/1865; POWs sent to City Point; Lt. Bishop is commandant of Libby Prison
Richmond Whig 4/15/1865; incredible list of the property destroyed in the evacuation fire
Richmond Whig 4/17/1865; steamer runs afoul of one of the sunken vessels at Drewry’s Bluff and sustains damage
Richmond Whig 4/17/1865; description of the arrival of Robert E. Lee in Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/17/1865; Official directory of US officials in Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/17/1865; description of three views of Grant's City Point HQ, by Hathaway, the photographer
Richmond Whig 4/18/1865; former Castle Thunder officials turn themselves in
Richmond Whig 4/19/1865; Official directory of US officials in Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/19/1865; Benson Lossing is in Richmond collecting pictures and other material for an upcoming book
Richmond Whig 4/19/1865; former Castle Thunder officials NOT confined in Libby, but released on their parole
Richmond Whig 4/20/1865; great description of the "Antiquities of Richmond"
Richmond Whig 4/20/1865; description of the observance of Abraham Lincoln's funeral in Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/21/1865; Gen. Lee was photographed yesterday by Brady
Richmond Whig 4/22/1865; Confederates who turn themselves in are sent to Libby Prison
Richmond Whig 4/22/1865; Gen. Ord and staff have been photographed by M. B. Brady
Richmond Whig 4/24/1865; Dr. Charles Bell Gibson, former surgeon of GH#1, has died
Richmond Whig 4/25/1865; "partial list" of views taken by Mathew Brady of Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/25/1865; Relief Commission office is now in the Female Institute
Richmond Whig 4/25/1865; description of Gallego Flour Mills before the war; now it is in ruins
Richmond Whig 4/25/1865; no more surgeons or hospital attendants will be paroled without permission of the Medical Director
Richmond Whig 4/25/1865; Official directory of US officials in Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/26/1865; Medical Purveyor for the Army of the James has his office at the Moore Hospital
Richmond Whig 4/26/1865; several gunboats that have been scuttled in the James river have been raised and salvaged
Richmond Whig 4/27/1865; Mathew Brady and his corps of photographers has left Richmond for Petersburg
Richmond Whig 4/27/1865; disinterment of Union soldiers from Oakwood cemetery continues
Richmond Whig 4/27/1865; Description of the explosion of the City Magazine on evacuation night and damage to the almshouse
Richmond Whig 4/27/1865; Rocketts has been taken over by the Federals and improvements are being made
Richmond Whig 4/27/1865; Official directory of Union officials in Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/28/1865; Official directory of Union officials in Richmond
Richmond Whig 4/28/1865; Customs House has been draped in black, in mourning for President Lincoln
Richmond Whig 4/28/1865; "Richmond again taken," this time by photographers
Richmond Whig 4/28/1865; the Ballard House will open next June, after undergoing extensive renovation
Richmond Whig 4/29/1865; The Libby Prison sign has been shipped north
New York Times 4/30/1865; Episcopal Churches are still closed. Author met Mathew Brady in Richmond 4/22/1865 and remarks on his photographs of Robert E. Lee.
New York Times 5/1/1865; The Libby Prison sign has arrived in New York
Richmond Whig 5/1/1865; Official directory of Union officials in Richmond
Richmond Whig 5/1/1865; person in the North claims to have the key to Castle Thunder, but this cannot be the main key as Castle Thunder is still used as a prison
Richmond Whig 5/1/1865; What happened to "the big black dog" (Hero) who used to guard Castle Thunder?
Richmond Whig 5/2/1865; details of colored troops have been out out the Cold Harbor & Gaines' Mill battlefields burying the dead
Richmond Whig 5/2/1865; prominent Richmonders, including Joseph R. Anderson, have taken the oath of allegiance to the U.S.
Richmond Whig 5/4/1865; "idle colored" women of Manchester have been sent to Belle Isle
Richmond Whig 5/4/1865; Robert Ould, former CS Commissioner for the exchange of prisoners, has been put in Libby Prison
Richmond Whig 5/4/1865; Mayo's bridge is going to be rebuilt
Richmond Whig 5/4/1865; Adams express company has moved to corner of Main and 19th sts
Richmond Whig 5/9/1865; Libby Prison and Castle Thunder have new signs
Richmond Whig 5/12/1865; Details on the Libby Prison sign
Richmond Whig 5/13/1865; Dick Turner escapes from Libby Prison
Richmond Whig 5/13/1865; Official directory of Union officials in Richmond
Richmond Whig 5/15/1865; Maj. Gen. Wright is staying at the Spottswood Hotel
Richmond Whig 5/15/1865; Nothing has been heard from Dick Turner after he escaped from Libby Prison
Richmond Whig 5/15/1865; Richmond College, formerly Louisiana Hospital, will re-open soon
Richmond Whig 5/16/1865; Isaac Carrington, former CS Provost Marshal of Richmond, has been put in Castle Thunder
Richmond Whig 5/19/1865; Hero, the dog formerly used as a guard dog at Castle Thunder has been shipped North
Richmond Whig 5/19/1865; Official directory of Union officials in Richmond
Dedham Gazette 5/20/1865; "Libby Prison Now and Then"- notes how Libby Prison has changed, and offers a general history. Notes that Libby Prison and Castle Thunder are now run by two Captains from the 24th Mass.
Richmond Whig 5/22/1865; Adams express company has many bodies, disinterred from Oakwood Cemetery, for shipment North
Richmond Whig 5/22/1865; BG Henry Abbott assigned to Artillery chief for Virginia and will garrison batteries around the city
Richmond Whig 5/27/1865; says the first Union flag to fly in Richmond was flown over Libby by an escaped prisoner
Richmond Whig 5/31/1865; very few prisoners are left in Libby or Castle Thunder
Richmond Whig 6/6/1865; A skull has been found at Seven Pines with a bee's nest in it
Richmond Whig 6/6/1865; a new flagpole has been erected at the Female Institute
Richmond Whig 6/6/1865; John Minor Botts has returned to Richmond
Richmond Whig 6/6/1865; appeal for a passenger railway from St. Charles Hotel to Rocketts


Richmond Dispatch 7/11/1866; excellent description of the leveling of most of the former defenses of Richmond; almost celebratory in tone


Southern Opinion 8/10/1867; description of Belle Isle as a prison camp – notes on the cemetery, the origins of the prison (says that there was a debate about whether to use Haxall’s Mill or Belle Isle), the current state of the island (notes many gardens in the old camp area, and the Old Dominion Iron and Nail Works is in full blast), and the view from the summit of the isle
Southern Opinion 11/23/1867; “Castle Thunder in Bellum Days;” gives an outstanding account of Castle Thunder, prominent prisoners (including Mary Walker) and its’ staff (including physical descriptions); mentions Oakwood Cemetery, Castle Godwin


Southern Opinion 6/27/1868; excellent article describing the beer gardens in town, with lengthy description of the “Hermitage Trotting Park,” formerly Camp Lee. Describes the current conditions and compares them with the wartime usages. Elba Park mentioned.
Southern Opinion 8/8/1868; Libby Prison has ceased to be a prison, the U. S. Army guard and prisoners transfers to Elba Park, formerly the home of John Minor Botts


Richmond Dispatch 12/26/1870; account of the Spotswood Hotel fire, including many vignettes of of close escapes, and accounts of the deaths of Erasmus Ross, former clerk of Libby Prison, and others.
Richmond Dispatch 12/28/1870; more details of the Spotswood Hotel fire
Richmond Dispatch 12/31/1870; Memorial services for Erasmus Ross, former clerk of Libby, held in Monumental Church; Ross killed in the Spottswood fire


New York Times

9/6/1879; Castle Thunder has burned down, and brief history of the building


Philadelphia Weekly Times 12/10/1881; excellent article by Frank Moran entitled “Libby’s Bright Side:” illustrates the humorous and lighter aspects of life in Libby Prison. Mentions the “Libby Prison Minstrels” and the Libby Prison Chronicle


National Tribune 9/2/1882; description of harsh conditions on Belle Isle and brief account of the "dog slaying" incident
National Tribune 9/9/1882; brief description of prison life on Belle Isle
Philadelphia Weekly Times

10/28/1882; excellent article by Frank Moran relating his experience escaping from Libby Prison through the famous tunnel.


Richmond Dispatch 7/17/1883; "The Richmond Spy," excellent description of Elizabeth Van Lew's efforts and anecdotes about the Richmond spy ring, Libby escape, etc.
National Tribune 9/13/1883; description of prison life at Castle Thunder and "Royster House" (GH#20)


National Tribune 1/10/1884; notes on the opening date of Belle Isle
National Tribune 1/24/1884; account of the capture of the 4th New Jersey at Gaines' Mill, and subsequent imprisonment in Libby Prison and Belle Isle is the summer of 1862
National Tribune 2/14/1884; brief account of prisoner's experience in Libby, Pemberton, Belle Isle, and Andersonville; notes that small pox broke out in Pemberton
National Tribune 2/14/1884; description of how Belle Isle was set up as a prison by captured Gaines' Mill prisoners from Libby


National Tribune 1/29/1885; letter disputing Col. Streight's claim of being responsible for the tunnel out of Libby Prison - gives list of the known working party
National Tribune 5/14/1885; excellent account by Col. Thomas Rose of the organization and completion of the Libby Prison tunnel


New York Times 4/22/1886; report that one of the three “tenements” comprising the former Libby Prison has collapsed from “overburdened floors.” $10,000 worth of damage.


National Tribune 1/6/1887; good description of the "dog slaying" episode on Belle Isle
Philadelphia Weekly Times 5/18/1887; very good description of the political circumstances surrounding prisoners of war during the war from one of the Libby tunnel escapees. Gives only a few snippets of Libby details, but includes an excellent letter from Libby requesting his family to hide money in packages.
Philadelphia Weekly Times

12/28/1887; brief article describing the author’s capture and brief imprisonment in Libby Prison, before and after a stay at Salisbury. Notes that when he arrived at Libby, eh was the only one there.


Richmond Dispatch 2/7/1888; Libby Prison has been bought by a Chicago syndicate; extensive description of the history of Libby Prison.
National Tribune 2/9/1888; good description of the proposed relocation of Libby Prison to Chicago
Richmond Dispatch 2/10/1888; More on the Libby Prison purchase; payment details discussed; details of plans for the building
New York Times 2/11/1888; strong protest to Libby Prison's move to Chicago from former Captain, Co. H, 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry
New York Times 2/15/1888; strong protest to Libby Prison's move to Chicago from former Captain, Co. K, 146th N.Y. Infantry
New York Times

2/23/1888; Chicago syndicate is coming to Richmond to exercise the option to purchase Libby Prison. Notes that the sentiment in Richmond is opposed to Libby’s removal.

Richmond Dispatch 2/25/1888; First payment for the Libby Prison sale was made today
New York Times 2/25/1888; architect believes it possible to move Libby Prison; ground where it stood should be sold to the government for use as a park
New York Times 2/26/1888; “Libby Prison Sold,” along with details of the sale and quotes from Gray about the feeling of the Richmond people (positive). Mayor of Richmond (W. H. Carrington) gives Gray the go-ahead.
Richmond Dispatch 2/28/1888; Deed for Libby Prison sale has been recorded; strong opposition opinions from Chicago residents
New York Times 3/2/1888; letter to the editor strongly arguing against the removal of Libby Prison to Chicago
National Tribune 3/11/1888; brief account of a prisoner being shot on Belle Isle for going near the "dead line"
New York Times

9/21/1888; tangled web of sales of Libby Prison described – a new syndicate is purchasing the thing “to let the Libby building remain where it is now and throw it open as a public museum.”

New York Times 10/26/1888; “The Libby Prison Syndicate.” More on the tangled web of sales and dealings to bring Libby Prison to Chicago.
Richmond Dispatch 12/16/1888; "Our Richmond Mobs;" details on the Bread Riot, the evacuation mob, and others
Richmond Dispatch 12/16/1888; engineer is in Richmond making drawing of Libby Prison, preparatory to moving it to Chicago. A fence has been erected around the prison, and citizens wishing to see it are charged admission
Richmond Dispatch 12/30/1888; wonderful accounts of the Bread Riot in Richmond- focuses on the question of whether President Davis helped quell the mob; testimony from Letcher and others


Richmond Dispatch 1/20/1889; more on the Bread Riot, again focusing on the roles President Davis and Governor Letcher played in quelling the riot
Richmond Dispatch 4/17/1889; work on tearing down Libby Prison will commence in a few days; spectators are charged to watch; details on the removal plans
National Tribune 4/27/1899; "Doc" Aubrey's account of imprisonment in Libby - just a boy at the time, he was captured trying to sell newspapers to the army. T. P. Turner took interest in him, put his money in the safe in his office, and tells him to get the money on his return. Very positive portrayal - nothing sensational.
National Tribune 5/4/1899; continuation of Aubrey's account of life in Libby - further mention of T. P. Turner, and notes that he returned his hard-earned money to him upon release. Unique for its positive portrayal of Turner.
New York Times 5/8/1889; Train carrying pieces of Libby Prison to Chicago has wrecked
Richmond Dispatch 5/11/1889; Details on the removal of Libby Prison to Chicago; half the material has already been removed; opinions of Chicagoans
Richmond Dispatch 6/1/1889; very negative description of Libby Prison in Chicago and its' potential consequences
Richmond Dispatch 6/1/1889; obituary notice for Samuel P. Moore, former Surgeon-General of the Confederacy
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. 
National Tribune 8/15/1889; part one of a two-part memoir by Capt. J. W. Chamberlain, 123rd Ohio, describing at length his imprisonment in Libby Prison
National Tribune 8/15/1889; part two of a two-part memoir by Capt. J. W. Chamberlain, 123rd Ohio, describing at length his imprisonment in Libby Prison
New York Times 11/26/1889; resolution offered by Richmond School Board to tear down the White House of the Confederacy and replace it with a new school. Speculation that it will follow Libby Prison to Chicago.


New York Times 2/8/1891; beginning of serialized account by a Chickamauga prisoner regarding life in Libby Prison. Excellent details on reception and layout of the prison.
New York Times 2/11/1891; part two of serialized account of life in Libby. Important description of the layout of the prison, and notes that the western armies and the Army of the Potomac segregated themselves within the prison. Gives great details of some of the prisoners there, including Neal Dow, Sawyer and Flynn.
New York Times 2/22/1891; part three of serialized account of life in Libby. Notes on various ways prisoners attempted to escape, the Confederate preachers who came there, the fact that prisoners could see the men at Pemberton, but could not communicate with them, and some of the chess matches that took place in prison.
New York Times 3/1/1891; part four of serialized account of life in Libby. Notes that 1864 began poorly - the Confederates cut off supplies from the North in order to compel the US Government to resume exchanges; author went to Belle Isle to help distribute last batch of supplies; mentions Castle Thunder; he was glad to be in Libby rather than Belle Isle - notes on the "dog-slaying incident" and confirms it. Further notes the presence of negroes on Belle Isle and their negative treatment by their fellow prisoners. Describes Gen. J. H. Morgan's visit to Libby and begins description of the Libby tunnel and says he was one of the diggers.
New York Times 3/8/1891; part five of serialized account of life in Libby. Gives a description of the lighter side of Libby life: mentions the "Libby Minstrels" and their performances as well as mock trials that took place in prison. Notes the shooting of two prisoners by the guard (one of whom died, named Forsyth) and the Ross and Latouche would change their money at the rate of 15 or 20 to one. Also describes prison sutlers and a raid upon them as well as the depth of hunger within the prison.
New York Times 3/15/1891; part six of serialized account of life in Libby. Description of the digging and escape through the Libby tunnel; notes that he was one of the ones who raised the cry of "guards!" to get the crowd to thin out. Further relates his overland journey towards the Chickhominy and encountering rebel earthworks on the outskirts of Richmond, unmanned and with the bombproofs open.
New York Times 3/22/1891; part seven of serialized account of life in Libby. Describes attempted escape from Libby, travel towards Union lines and recapture.
New York Times 3/29/1891; part eight of serialized account of life in Libby. Describes recapture, waiting in Cold Harbor tavern, response by Confederates to the tunnel escape, and re-confinement in Libby. Gives description of being in cells beneath Libby Prison.
New York Times 4/5/1891; part nine of serialized account of life in Libby. Describes the plan to break out of Libby upon the success of Dahlgren's raid. Says that there were 1,200 prisoners in Libby at the time. Also noted that 20,000 others in Richmond between Belle Isle and Pemberton. Notes that prison authorities found out about the plot and brought in extra guards and artillery across the street. Relates hearsay evidence of Turner's statement that the prison was mined.
New York Times 4/12/1891; part ten of serialized account of life in Libby. Basically a refutation of Col. Di Cesnola's account regarding the action to be taken during Dahlgren's raid. Notes that Di Cesnola was the acknowledged leader. Continues with his narrative, describing how he faked being sick in order to be taken to the hospital, with the intent to be sent away.
New York Times 4/19/1891; part eleven of serialized account of life in Libby. Recounts the author's near-exchange, and subsequent return to Richmond, only to be put in General Hospital #10
National Tribune 4/21/1891; notes on tools used for tunneling out of Libby Prison
New York Times 4/26/1891; part twelve of serialized account of life in Libby. Good description of GH#10 as a Union prison hospital - indicates that the hospital was in conjunction with Libby Prison in 1864.
Richmond Dispatch 7/12/1891; letter to the editor regarding treatment of Confederates in Libby Prison after the evacuation of Richmond
National Tribune 8/20/1891; good account of life in Richmond prisons in 1861
National Tribune 12/29/1891; Excellent set of letters from Libby Prison, recounting treatment and life in prison. Mentions purchasing one of the Rees images from the prison guards, and sending it North.


National Tribune 3/17/1892; lengthy but excellent account of the tunnel escape and "powder mine" of Libby Prison - and disputation of falsehoods recently circulated; by Frank E. Moran
New York Times 5/1/1892; detailed description of the Christmas Eve, 1863 entertainment in Libby Prison and information about the collection in which it was found.
National Tribune 10/6/1892; notes on the mining of Libby Prison
New York Times

11/28/1892; War relics will be exhibited in Libby Prison when it is reconstructed in Chicago. Notes that Gunther wanted to move Independence Hall too, but “the transfer was a physical impossibility, even if Philadelphians would let it go.”


National Tribune 4/20/1893, 4/27/1893, 5/4/1893; excerpts from accounts of a Federal scout describing his encounter with John Van Lew, Elizabeth's brother, at Cold Harbor, in which John Van Lew tells the scout that if he can get a message to her, she will provide information from Richmond. Also accounts meeting with a fleeing employee of John Van Lew, in order not to serve in the Confederate army
National Tribune 12/14/1893; description of a clever escape of two men from Libby Prison
National Tribune 12/28/1893; brief account of harsh treatment on Belle Isle - notes that he was almost killed by a train on his way to Belle Isle


National Tribune 1/25/1894; description of how the Confederates "tricked" Yankees into moving from Pemberton Prison to Belle Isle


Baltimore Sun 2/22/1895; G. W. Alexander obituary, describes in great detail his early service in the Confederacy, imprisonment and escape from Fort McHenry, and service in Richmond
Richmond Dispatch 3/3/1895; G. W. Alexander obituary, excellent and lengthy description of his wartime service and Castle Thunder details
Hartford Courant 4/5/1895; Maj. A. J. Hamilton, one of the ringleaders of the Libby Prison tunnel escape, has been murdered by one of his drinking buddies.
National Tribune 6/13/1895; refutation of the claim that prisoners at Belle Isle were "jolly fellows;" good details of the harsh treatment, and attempts to escape
New York Times 6/23/1895; Libby Prison is to be torn down in Chicago; low visitation
New York Times 7/7/1895; 1866 letter from Thomas P. Turner, commandant of Libby Prison, detailing his escape to Cuba
National Tribune 8/29/1895; brief description of the author's prison experiences at Belle Isle, Pemberton, and Scott's prisons


National Tribune 1/23/1896; brief account of the theft of a blanket in Libby Prison in January, 1865
National Tribune 9/7/1896; man in Richmond is making gavels and other trinkets from Libby Prison wood


New York Times 6/2/1897; notice that visitation has dwindled at Libby Prison in Chicago and it will probably be closed and moved.
New York Times 6/3/1897; Foreclosure proceedings against the Libby Prison War Museum in Chicago. Gunther and Spalding claim the museum is “insolvent.”
National Tribune 11/4/1897; old soldier still has the flute he kept at Libby Prison, and apparently played for Jefferson Davis


New York Times 4/12/1899; Libby Prison War Museum has closed and demolition work will begin soon to make way for the new Coliseum. Demolition “will be done so hastily that it can never be again rebuilt.”
National Tribune 4/27/1899; "Doc" Aubrey's account of imprisonment in Libby - just a boy at the time, he was captured trying to sell newspapers to the army. T. P. Turner took interest in him, put his money in the safe in his office, and tells him to get the money on his return. Very positive portrayal - nothing sensational.
National Tribune 5/4/1899; continuation of Aubrey's account of life in Libby - further mention of T. P. Turner, and notes that he returned his hard-earned money to him upon release. Unique for its positive portrayal of Turner.
National Tribune 7/27/1899; "A Union Man in Richmond;" description of sentiment in Richmond leading up to secession; John Minor Botts' speech at the African Church, and the Secession Convention in the Mechanics' Institute.
National Tribune 8/3/1899; "A Union Man in Richmond" part three of serial account. Describes the scene in Richmond immediately following secession. States that Gov. Letcher was often drunk; the vote to ratify secession was held in the Old Market building (with serious voter intimidation going on); the Hampden Sydney Battalion passing through Richmond.
National Tribune

8/10/1899; “A Union Man in Richmond;” part four of serial account. Describes John Minor Bott’s stay in “a negro jail in Lombard Alley” [Castle Godwin], the economic situation in Richmond, the Battle of First Manassas, the man who [Mr. Gretter] who tossed the first shovelful of dirt for the Richmond defenses, the dangerous nature of “Lombard Alley” [probably Locust Alley], and the post-war collapse of the upper floor of the Capitol building

National Tribune

8/17/1899; “A Union Man in Richmond;” part five of serial account. Describes the scene in Richmond in early to mid-1863. Mentions hedonistic activity at the Exchange, Ballard and Spotswood hotels; prostitution and gambling flourishing in Richmond around the Exchange Hotel; trying to get a pass out of Richmond from Gen. Winder; and subsequent trip to Staunton on the railroad

National Tribune 9/14/1899; “A Union Man in Richmond” part six of serialized account. Describes the feeling in Richmond at the time of the Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid, Pawnee Sunday (1861), a female Confederate spy at his boarding house, and other details of life at his boarding house.
National Tribune

9/21/1899; “A Union Man in Richmond” part seven of serialized account. Describes the tough economic conditions in Richmond in 1863 (with a nice description of the scene at the Old Market), the small-pox epidemic in Richmond (blames Longstreet’s men for bringing it to the city), an unreported assassination attempt on President Davis, and garroters in Richmond.

National Tribune 9/28/1899; “A Union Man in Richmond” part eight of serialized account. Describes the capture and execution of Timothy Webster, the Libby Prison escape (mentions prisoners being aided by Van Lew, and good feeling amongst the Unionsts toward her), a shooting of a prisoner at Libby, “the clerk” of Libby being involved in trading with the prisoners (Ross), and being shot at while near Locust Alley. St. Charles Hotel mentioned.


National Tribune 7/12/1900; good account of the fall of Richmond in 1865, by a boy who lived on Church Hill; notes that advancing Union troops were fired upon from convalescent patients from Chimborazo
National Tribune 8/9/1900; Part one of Silas Crocker's serialized account of life in Libby - relates the stock story of money stealing by Dick Turner and mentions a sergeant beating a man who would not give up his ring.
National Tribune 8/16/1900; Part Two of Silas Crocker’s serialized account of life in captivity in Richmond - relates the story of his stay on Belle Isle with good details on the prison’s geography. Very fair account, though bitter, he complains only of the quantity of the food. Says the mental strain was the hardest. Also relates the method used to trick the prisoners into thinking they were to be exchanged, and then putting them in trains and sending them south.
Richmond Dispatch 9/25/1900; Elizabeth Van Lew is near death
Richmond Dispatch 9/26/1900; Elizabeth Van Lew has died, will be buried Friday. Details on relatives and friends attending as well as details on her home
New York Times 9/26/1900; Obituary notice for Elizabeth Van Lew, notes that she was 83 years old
National Tribune 9/27/1900; "The Fall of Richmond" Part one of Hiram Peck's [10th CT Inf] excellent memoir describing advancing on Richmond from Fort Burnham on April 3, 1865, and the occupation of Richmond. Gives an interesting description of seeing a copy of the Richmond Sentinel meant to be published that day. Notes on number of rail cars captured.
Richmond Dispatch 9/27/1900; Elizabeth Van Lew's funeral will be held tomorrow; has been postponed to allow her relatives to arrive
National Tribune 10/4/1900; "The Fall of Richmond" Part two of Hiram Peck's memoir. Describes Lincoln's visit to Richmond, details of the evacuation fire, the reopening of the Richmond Theater, and response to Lee's surrender in Richmond. Mentions Castle Thunder detectives being locked in Libby, and gives a description of Hollywood Cemetery.


National Tribune 2/28/1901; description of a visit to Richmond, mentions Bird Island, Belle Isle (mentions that many soldiers still buried there), and the White House of the Confederacy
National Tribune 4/11/1901; former prisoner at Belle Isle describes the cold winter of 1863-64 and mentions the rations coming to the island via barge from the north bank
National Tribune 4/18/1901; description of life in Pemberton Prison in 1865. Notes that Dick Turner was in charge there, and gives some examples of his cruelty
National Tribune 9/19/1901; brief article describing the author's reception at Libby, and being bayonetted by a guard while there
Richmond Times-Dispatch 11/17/1901; good account of the burial of Col. Ulric Dahlgren in Oakwood Cemetery, and the raiding of the grave; author was a member of the 19th VA H.A., camped at Battery 5, and guarding Libby Prison at the time
Richmond Dispatch 12/6/1901; Dick Turner, former assistant commandant of Libby Prison, has died
New York Times 12/6/1901; death notice for “Captain” Richard R. “Dick” Turner, former “keeper” of Libby Prison
Richmond Dispatch 12/7/1901; notes on the death of Richard R. Turner in Isle of Wight County and gives some details of his life
Richmond Dispatch 12/8/1901; description of the escape of Richard R. "Dick" Turner from Libby Prison, after the close of the war. Includes engraving of Turner


National Tribune 10/23/1902; Capt. Beecham's good, but very bitter, account of life on Belle Isle after Gettysburg. Includes a copy of an article from Jackson Warner, Commissary in Richmond denying that prisoners were starved: he says that they were as well fed as Confederate soldiers. Of course the author disagrees with him. Author was on Belle Isle for 15 days.
National Tribune 10/30/1902; letter describes the fire in Richmond threatening Libby Prison and Castle Thunder, and the author broke open the door to let prisoners out.
National Tribune 11/27/1902; interesting account of mail distribution in Libby
New York Times 12/26/1902; letter describing the difference in temperament between Thomas P. and Richard R. Turner and incident involving “Dick” Turner. Author is probably Louis P. DiCesnola who was at Libby Prison in 1863-64.


National Tribune 1/29/1903; takes up account of Belle Isle where Beecham left off (NT 10/23/1902); describes the moving of prisoners to Andersonville and the trick that the Confederates played to get the prisoners to get off the island.
National Tribune 4/16/1903; further information on the "battle of the gate" at Belle Isle - the red-headed Sergeant was named Hite, and a deserter from the Union army. Describes his various acts of cruelty, including his use of a wooden horse for punishment. Mentions not being fed on New Year's Day, 1864, as well as the scarcity of coffins during this period. Asks if anyone remembers the killing of the Lt.'s dog.
National Tribune 4/30/1903; soldier corroborates account of breaking open the doors of Libby upon the evacuation of Richmond; also relates his imprisonment in Libby and Belle Isle; relates the cruelty of the doctor on Belle Isle, and the kindness of another doctor who took him to a hospital in Richmond. Mentions having witnessed the bread riot, but cannot be telling the truth, because he was captured in 1864
National Tribune 6/25/1903; more on the dog-slaying incident at Belle Isle
National Tribune 7/30/1903; letter from a soldier in Libby Prison mentioning the dearth of food for the prisoners
National Tribune 8/13/1903; description of Belle Isle in 1862; described badly, but notes that "that prison had not yet become noted for atrocities that distinguished it later," and there were 3,000 to 4,000 prisoners there at the time
National Tribune 9/3/1903; description of life on Belle Isle after Gettysburg. Describes Bossieux stealing money from the prisoners, and mentions being in charge of a bathing detail in the river - only 40 were supposed to go out at a time, but the author let out many more. Also mentions that he was later put on commissary detail, going by boat to Richmond to get the rations
National Tribune 10/15/1903; diary entry describes Dick Turner stealing money from the prisoners at Pemberton Prison; mentions Libby.
National Tribune 12/31/1903; author asks some leading questions: Why was the cook house on Belle Isle below the sinks? Where are the Germans [emphasis] who ate the Lieutenant's Dog? Also notes that he took the paw of the dog out of prison.


National Tribune 1/7/1904; former prisoner at Pemberton and Belle Isle says that Belle Isle was worse than Andersonville, and that dead prisoners would be frozen stiff to the ground
National Tribune 4/7/1904; brief description of the author's captivity in Libby, and the state of finances in Richmond - author relates that he was able to exchange $10 for $100 CSA and buy goods with it. Also notes that the guards occasionally allowed this practice through the windows.
National Tribune 5/19/1904; brief letter describing imprisonment in Pemberton Prison and Belle Isle from late 1862 to early 1864. Mentions a one-eyed guard named Sgt. Marks who clubbed prisoners, and Lieut. Bossieux being in charge of Belle Isle.
National Tribune 8/11/1904; letter of a Gettysburg prisoner who spent six weeks in Belle Isle. Mentions a soldier taking the oath of allegiance to the CSA, and that a large party escaped on Aug. 12, along with several guards from the 42nd NC. Also mentions prisoners working for the rebels, who paid them with extra rations.
National Tribune 9/15/1904; poem written by Col. Bartleson (KIA at Wilderness) on the wall of Libby Prison


Richmond Times-Dispatch 2/25/1906; assertion that Ulric Dahlgren's body was not abused, while lying at the York River R. R. depot; notes that a finger was gone
National Tribune 3/8/1906; I. N. Johnson, one of the Libby tunnelers, is looking for the addresses of several of the others in the tunnel party, and gives a partial list.
National Tribune 6/28/1906; man claims to be the one that caught and killed the dog at Belle Isle and ate it.
National Tribune

8/30/1906; Maj. L. P. Williams’ account of the Libby Prison tunnel and escape. Gives details on the construction of the tunnel. Williams succeeded in making his escape.

National Tribune 9/6/1906; a veteran of Richmond prisons asks questions about them. Pemberton, the Belle Isle sutler, and the dog-slaying incident are mentioned.
National Tribune 12/13/1928; excellent description of the Libby Prison escape, offers several new details.
Richmond Times-Dispatch 12/5/1909; excellent reminiscence of the fall of Richmond


National Tribune

2/28/1907; description of Col. Abel Streight’s escape through the Libby tunnel - notes he had some difficulty getting out because he was a “large man” and that he was initially helped by “Aunt Rhoda,” a local negro.

National Tribune 3/7/1907; more debate about the last people to leave Libby Prison before the city fell.
National Tribune 3/28/1907; details and praise of Chaplain McCabe while in Libby Prison
National Tribune 3/28/1907; details on the pontoon bridge at Richmond - notes its length, as well as that the author of the article was on the bridge when General Lee crossed it
National Tribune 5/30/1907; more debate about the last Yankees to leave Libby Prison.
Richmond Times-Dispatch 6/30/1907; great reminiscence of life in Winder Hospital in 1864; mentions an "erysipelas ward" near the old reservoir


Richmond Times-Dispatch 4/30/1910; obituary notice of Virginius Bossieux, former commandant of Belle Isle.


New York Times 11/7/1911; site of Libby Prison in Richmond has been marked with a bronze tablet


Winchester Evening Star 9/10/1913; decent account of Elizabeth Van Lew and her spying efforts in Richmond


National Tribune 3/11/1926; excellent article by Capt. A. G. Hamilton, detailing his personal experience in the Libby Prison tunnel escape, notes escaping with Col. Rose, and watching him be recaptured while still in Richmond [contrary to other reports]. Gives a detailed account of his travel to Union lines at Williamsburg.


National Tribune 11/30/1933; note that the timbers of Libby Prison are being used in a barn in Hamlet, Indiana, owned by Frank Davis. Describes the barn timbers and notes that many timbers are still covered with initials of prisoners


National Tribune 6/13/1940; brief note that the timbers of Libby Prison are being used in a barn in Hamlet, Indiana, owned by Frank Davis

Page last updated on 07/07/2008