Alabama Civil War Roots 
Website Hosted by Carolyn Golowka


UNITED STATES MILITARY PRISONS 1861 - 1865 

 Prison Name

 State

Facility
Type

 1861

1862

 1863

 1864

1865

Maximum
Capacity

Most
Held

 Escapes

 Deaths

Atheneum Prison

WV

3

See Wheeling

 

 

 

 

Albany Penitentiary

NY

1

-

X

X

?

?

?

?

?

?

Allegheny City

PA

1

-

-

X

X

-

?

118

?

?

Alton

IL

1

-

X

X

X

X

800

1,891

120

1,508

Arsenal Penitentiary

DC

1

X

-

-

-

-

?

?

?

?

Baltimore City Jail

MD

1

X

X

X

-

-

?

700?

?

?

Bedloe’s Island

NY

2

See Fort Wood

 

 

 

 

Benton Barracks

MO

3

X

X

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

Bingham Building

MO

3

See Guerrilla Prison

 

 

 

 

Camp Butler

IL

4

-

X

X

-

-

2,100

2,186

203

866

Camp Chase

OH

4

X

X

X

X

X

4,000

9,423

37

2,260

Camp Dennison

OH

3

-

X

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

Camp Douglas

IL

4

_

X

X

X

X

6000

12,082

317+

4,454

Camp Hoffman

MD

5

See Point Lookout

 

 

 

 

Camp Morton

IN

3(FG)

-

X

X

X

X

2,000

5,000

150+

1,763

Camp Randall

WI

4(FG)

-

X

-

-

-

3,000?

1,260

?

142

Carroll Prison

DC

3

-

X

X

X

X

1,000

2,763

16

457

Castle Thunder

MD

3

-

X

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

Castle Williams

NY

2

X

X

X

X

X

250?

713

?

?

Charleston

WV

1

-

X

X

?

?

?

?

?

?

Chester

PA

3

-

-

X

?

?

?

?

?

?

Chicago

IL

4

See Camp Douglas

 

 

 

 

Cincinnati

OH

3

See McLean Barracks

 

 

 

 

Columbus

KY

1

-

X

-

-

-

?

?

?

?

Columbus

OH

4

See Camp Chase

 

 

 

 

David’s Island

NY

4&5

-

-

X

X

X

1,800

3,000

?

?

Dry Tortugas Islands

FL

2

-

-

-

X

X

900+?

300? (Pows)

?

?

Duff Green’s Row

DC

3

See Carroll’s Prison (combined with Old Capitol

 

 

 

Edward’s Island

NY

5

-

-

X

X

?

?

?

?

?

Elmira

NY

4

-

-

-

X

X

5,000

9,441

17

2,933

Evansville

IN

3

-

X

?

-

-

?

500

?

?

Forest Hall

DC

3

X

X

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

Fort Columbus

NY

2

X

X

X

X

X

250?

?

?

?

Fort Craig

NM

3

X

?

-

-

-

?

?

?

0

Fort Delaware

DE

2

X

X

X

X

X

?

12,600

52

2,460

Fort Jefferson

FL

2

See Dry Tortugas Islands

 

 

 

 

Fort Lafayette

NY

2

X

X

X

X

X

50

163

2

2+

Fort Massachusetts

MS

 

See Ship Island

 

 

 

 

Fort McHenry

MD

2

X

X

X

X

X

600

6,957

37

33

Fort Mifflin

PA

2

-

-

X

X

-

200

215

42

3

Fort Monroe

VA

2

X

X

X

X

X

?

50?

?

?

Fort Norfolk

VA

2

-

-

-

X

?

?

?

?

?

Fort Pickens

FL

2

-

X

X

X

X

?

146

11

2

Fort Pulaski

GA

2

-

-

-

X

X

336?

558

0

0?

Fort Riley

KS

2

-

X

-

-

-

?

17?

?

?

Fort Schuyler

NY

2

-

-

-

X

X

500

500?

?

?

Fort Wayne

IN

3

-

X

?

-

-

?

500

?

?

Fort Warren

MA

2

X

X

X

X

X

175

394

4

12

Fort Wood

NY

2

X

-

X

X

-

?

108

0

3

Georgetown

DC

3

See Forest Hall

 

 

 

 

Governors Island

NY

2

X

X

X

X

X

500

 

1

47

Gratiot Street

MO

3

X

X

X

X

X

500

1,800

109+

1,140

Guerrilla Prison

MO

3

-

-

X

-

-

?

15

?

5

Hart’s Island

NY

4&5

-

-

-

-

X

?

3,446

4

235

Hilton Head

SC

1,3&5

-

-

-

X

X

800?

800

?

?

Hope Slater

MD

1

X

X

X

?

?

?

?

?

?

Indianapolis

IN

3 (FG)

See Camp Morton

 

 

 

 

Irving Block

TN

3

See Memphis

 

 

 

 

Jefferson City

MO

1

See Missouri Penitentary

 

 

 

 

Johnson’s Island

OH

4

-

X

X

X

X

1,000

3,256

12

235

Kansas City

MO

3

-

-

X

-

-

?

15

?

5

Knoxville

TN

1

-

-

X?

X?

?

?

?

?

4?

Lafayette

IN

3

-

X

?

-

-

?

500

?

28

Lexington

KY

1

-

X

X

X?

-

?

?

?

?

Little Rock

AR

3

-

-

-

X

X

?

718

3

217

Louisiana State House

LA

3

-

X

X

-

-

?

?

?

?

Louisville

KY

1 & 4

-

-

X

X

X

?

6,737

25

343

Ludlow Street Jail

NY

1

X

-

-

-

-

?

?

?

?

Lynch’s Slave Pen

MO

3

See Myrtle Street Prison

 

 

 

 

Madison

WI

4 (FG)

See Camp Randall

 

 

 

 

Mare’s Island

CA

4

-

-

X

?

-

?

20?

?

?

Maxwell House

TN

3

See Nashville

 

 

 

 

McLean Barracks

OH

3

-

-

X

X

-

?

179

10

4

Memphis

TN

3

-

-

-

X

X

?

582

1

3

Missouri Penitentiary

MO

1

-

-

-

X

-

?

15?

0

0

Morris Island

SC

5

-

-

-

X

-

558?

558

0

3

Moyamensing Penitentiary

PA

1

-

-

X

?

?

?

?

?

?

Myrtle Street

MO

3

X

X

X

X

X

100

150

?

?

Nashville

TN

3

-

-

X

X

X

?

7,460

36

359

New Albany

IN

3

-

X

?

-

-

?

500

?

?

New Orleans

LA

1

See Parish Prison

 

 

 

 

Newport News

VA

5

-

-

-

-

X

10,000

3,490

17

168

New York City

NY

1-5

Thirteen Different Prisons

 

 

 

 

Ohio Penitentiary

OH

1

-

-

X

X

-

?

68

5

0

Old Capitol

DC

3

X

X

X

X

X

500

2,763

16

457+

Paducah

KY

3

-

X

X?

?

?

?

?

?

?

Parish Prison

LA

1

-

-

X

X

X

?

1,856

226

213

Pittsburg Penitentiary

PA

1

Allegheny Penitentiary

 

 

 

 

Point Lookout

MD

5

-

-

X

X

X

10,000

22,000

50

3,584

Richmond

IN

3

-

X

X?

?

?

500

500?

?

?

Riker’s Island

NY

4

-

-

-

X

X

1,000

1,000?

?

?

Rock Island

IL

4

-

-

X

X

X

10,080

8,607

41

1,960

St. Charles

MO

1

X

?

-

-

-

?

?

?

?

St. Louis

MO

3

Four Different Prisons

 

 

 

 

Schofield Barracks

MO

3

X

?

?

?

-

?

?

?

?

Ship Island

MS

2

-

-

-

X

X

?

4,430

5

103

Springfield

IL

4

See Camp Butler

 

 

 

 

Springfield

MO

3

X

?

-

-

-

?

?

?

?

Tennessee State Penitentiary

TN

1

See Nashville

 

 

 

 

Terre Haute

IN

3

-

X

?

-

-

?

500

?

?

Tombs Prison

NY

1

X

X

-

-

-

300

40 (POW)

0

0

Ward’s Island

NY

4

-

-

X?

X

?

?

?

?

?

Washington County Jail

DC

1

X

?

-

-

-

100

240 (POW)

?

?

Washington DC

DC

1 & 3

See Old Capitol & Forest Hall

 

 

 

 

Western Penitentiary

PA

1

See Allegheny Penitentiary

 

 

 

 

Wheeling

WV

1 & 3

-

-

X

X

X

?

487

12

2

Prison Type Definitions

Type 1 - Existing jails and Prisons. The first to come into use, these ranged in size from small city jails-such as those at Selma, Alabama; Savannah, Georgia; the Tombs prison in New York; and Castle Godwin in Richmond-to medium sized county 'ails such as the Parish Prison in New Orleans and the Henrico County Jail in Richmond to large state prisons such as those used in Virginia; Huntsville, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; and Western Penitentiary in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania.

Type 2 - Coastal Fortifications. Second to be pressed into use, mostly in the North, were forts along the Atlantic. Prime examples of these included Fort McHenry at Baltimore, Fort Warren in Boston, Fort Lafayette, Columbus and Castle Williams in New York, and Fort Delaware below Philadelphia. The South did, however, have one facility of this type-Castle Pinckney in Charleston Harbor.

Type 3 - Old Buildings Converted into Prisons. This type, used primarily in the South, included the Ligon and Libby Prisons in Richmond; Castle Thunder (11) at Petersburg, Virginia; and the six tobacco warehouses at Danville, Virginia. The North used a few of this type also, most notably Gratiot Street Prison and Myrtle Street Prison in St. Louis.

Type 4 - Barracks Enclosed by High Fences. These were groups of wooden buildings on a large plot of land previously used as basic-training camps or rendezvous points for recruits. High fences were later built around the camps to enclose and confine POWs. This type of prison existed mostly in the North: Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio; Camp Douglas at Chicago, Illinois; Camp Morton in Indianapolis, Indiana; and Elmira in New York. A number of these were originally fairgrounds before becoming troop rendezvous points. In the South, only two of this type were well-known-Raleigh, North Carolina, and Macon, Georgia. Johnson's Island Military Prison near Sandusky, Ohio, fits this category, but unlike the other facilities, it was built with the full intention of housing prisoners.

Type 5 - Clusters of Tents Enclosed by High Fences. This was one of the cheapest methods to confine prisoners, and it existed in both the North and the South. Examples included Point Lookout in Maryland and Belle Isle in Virginia.

Type 6 - Barren Stockades. By far the cheapest and worst of the seven types constructed, this was used exclusively in the South. These stockades were constructed around a number of acres that included no shelter except what individual prisoners could construct for themselves. Prime examples included Camp Asylum and Florence in South Carolina, Camp Sumter (Andersonville) in Georgia, Salisbury in North Carolina, Camp Ford in Texas, and Cahaba in Alabama.

Type 7 - Barren Ground. This last type was nothing more than the gathering of prisoners on barren land, surrounded with a guardline. Crossed sticks, branches, or several batteries of cannon directed at the gathering often marked the outer limits of the camp. Outside these markers, a line of sentries stood or patrolled back and forth. Mostly used by the South late in the war, this method was utilized by the North on some occasions after a major battle. Examples of this type included Camp Sorghum in South Carolina, Charlotte in North Carolina, and, on several different occasions, East Point outside Atlanta, Georgia.

 

The Alabama Civil War Roots' webmaster, James D. Allen, passed away February 5, 2003.  His tireless dedication to making available information on all our Civil War ancestors will always be our inspiration.  We dedicate the continuation of this site to him.  Jimmy, we miss you.

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Website Hosted by Carolyn Golowka
Website placed online: October 1998
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