Early in the Civil War, prisons were adequate to hold the numbers of prisoners. As the war continued and the number of prisoners increased, so did the number of facilities. Some 150 locations were utilized to hold soldiers captured on the battlefield as well as political prisoners suspected of disloyalty. Facilities can be classified in six categories: 1) existing jails or prisons, 2) coastal fortifications, 3) converted commercial buildings, 4) barracks enclosed by a high fence, 5) cloisters of tents enclosed by a high fence and 6) barren stockades. Many prisoners, both Confederate and Federal, came to feel that a quick death from a bullet would have been better than slowly starving to death in a cold, crowded, filthy prison. The hope of freedom was sometimes the only thing that kept a prisoner alive, and if that prisoner wanted to see his home once more, he tried every way possible to escape. This work is divided into two sections--the Federal prisons and the Confederate prisons. The facilities have been organized alphabetically for easy reference. Facts about each prison include when it was established, type of facility, location, number and kind of prisoners held, known escapes, and other available data. An appendix lists the monthly Federal prison population from July 1862 through late 1865 and the escapes reported each month.
"welcome addition...valuable...highly recommended"--ARBA; "an enjoyable book to read...highly recommended"--The Civil War News; "well-researched...outstanding...a must...a beautiful book...well written, well researched, and nicely presented"--Civil War Book Review; "lots of information...recommended"--Curledup.com; "a valuable reference...detailed, vivid account"--Winston-Salem Journal.