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A glad sight for the prisoners

On top of the gentle slope rising from the river at Aiken's Landing stands the dwelling of A. M. Aiken, who gave the locality his name. For a short time in 1862 Aiken's Landing, on the James River just below Dutch Gap, was used as a point of exchange for soldiers captured in the East. Many prisoners from the Eastern armies in 1862 lifted their tired eyes to this comfortable place, which aroused thoughts of home. There was not likely to be any fighting in a locality selected for the exchange of prisoners, and in this photograph at least there are women and children. At the top of the steps stands a woman with a child leaning against her voluminous skirts, and a Negro ‘mammy’ with a large white apron stands on the other side of the pillar. Some Union officers are lounging at the near end of the porch. The mill shown in the lower photograph was owned by Mr. Aiken. His rude wharf stretching out into the river enabled the neighboring farmers to land their corn, which they brought to be ground. The structure in the front is a martin-box, a sight common in the South to-day. Martins are known to be useful in driving hawks away from poultry-yards.

The mill near Aiken's landing

Aiken's house in 1864


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