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Old Capitol 
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Prison Photo     Photo of preparation for  the hanging of Capt. Henry Wirz

Tavern - Boarding House - School - Prison and gallows - Private residence - U. S. Supreme Court.....the land where Old Capitol Prison once stood has been used for all of these purposes! 

 

Old Capitol Prison, located in Washington D. C. was originally built in 1800 as a tavern and boarding house.  However, after the capitol building was burned in the War of 1812, our nation's capitol was housed there until a new capitol building could be built.  

 

In 1825 the new capitol building was ready for use and the old building, once vacated, was referred to as Old Capitol.  

 

Over the years, The Old Capitol building served many functions from boarding house to school but when the Civil War broke out, the building was 61 years old, abandoned, and had fallen into disrepair.  It was deemed a suitable place for both North and South Civil War prisoners.  Bars were added to windows and prisoners were brought in.

 

It is most widely known as the prison where Belle Boyd and Rose O'Neal were incarcerated.  Many hangings took place in the gallows at Old Capitol Prison.  Among them, the Lincoln Assassination conspirators, spies, political prisoners and Captain Henry Wirz - commander of Andersonville Prison.

 

There is nothing remaining of the Old Capitol Prison.  The place where it once stood is now occupied by the United States Supreme Court Building. 


 LINKS: 
 In Search of the Graves of Our War Dead
 Old Capitol Prison
 The Old Capitol and It's Inmates
 91st PA - Old Capitol Prison
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BOOK PICK:

IMMORTAL CAPTIVES:  

The story of 600 Confederate officers and the United States Prisoner of War Policy.

 

A reader and reviewer says: "The diaries and letters are powerful and evocative"

 

Civil War Prison Index

 




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