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The old capitol prison

At the outset of the war, the only tenant of the Old Capitol--where once the United States Congress had been housed — was an humble German, who managed to subsist himself and his family as a cobbler. Six months later the place was full of military offenders, prisoners of state, and captured Confederates, and the guards allowed no one to stop even for a minute on the other side of the street. Many prominent Confederate generals were confined in it, with scores of citizens suspected of disloyalty to the Union. Captain Wirz, the keeper of Andersonville Prison, was imprisoned here, and was executed on a gallows in the yard. These views show the extensions built upon each side of the prison to contain mess-halls, and also to shelter prisoners of war. Iron bars have been placed in all the windows, and sentries and soldiers stand upon the sidewalk. Here Mrs. Rose O'Neal Greenhow, the Confederate spy, was incarcerated.

The old capitol prison—showing the additions built after 1861

Soldiers outside the prison


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Henry Wirz (1)
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