From an LoC stereoview, not one of the more striking or clearer images of Libby Prison, Cary and Canal Streets, Richmond. It just happens to be one inclusive of The James River Towing Company, building on the right. That's 50 feet between buildings even if the camera's perspective makes it look less. Events transpiring there Feb. 9th, 1864 make this an awesome image despite all the discolorized fuzz.
Behind this building, between James River Towing Company and Kerr's warehouse existed a fenced-in storage shed. Behind that fence, the morning of Feb. 10th, 1864, baffled, frazzled and astonished Confederate authorities discovered a hole.
It's ok, it's from one of the numerous ' Escape ' books published at the time, safely public access. And here's the fireplace, left of middle, above what was known as ' Rat Hell '- you can see a stove in the middle of the floor.
Came across a description of the famous Libby Prison escape, ' The Great Escape ' until the Steve McQueen movie ( also a favorite ) made the first fade into another war's background. This one is from a Richmond newspaper- there were several, unsurprisingly. What you have to love is the rather shocked admiration- and why not? The whole thing really was awesome.
It'd be futile and a little silly trying to do more than what's out there on the uber-famous Libby Prison escape of Feb. 9th, 1864. Between books and blogs by historians and genuine researchers, how could anyone do a thing more? Ran into an excellent summary/website by someone whose relative was among the escaped Union officers though, if anyone is interested. Fair warning, you'll be there for awhile. Author has compiled mini-bios and stories, you'll get sucked in.
The thing is, in ' Period Photos And Examinations ' the examination part is always awfully valuable. We're incredibly lucky to have access to LoC, for one, National Archives, another and the plethora of public access sources where History is not only preserved, we may see it. Libby Prison images are a terrific example, following a Richmond ship's chandlery through incarnations as business, prison housing Union officers, a building standing in the rubble of riots and fire, prison housing Confederate prisoners and finally a war museum.
SO just one- at least for now. Must have every narrative printed at the time by every escapee and witness somewhere in my files. This is Richmond. Feb. 11th, 1864.