Discussion Newport News Prison

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Virginia Dave

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I am looking for information on the Newport News prison. My GG Grandfather was held there for a while after being captured. Does anyone have any photos, drawings or descriptions of this prison? He was later transferred to Libby in Richmond and there is plenty of information on that. Thanks in advance for any information you might have.
 

Lubliner

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The city has very little I can discover on their infrastructure before 1881. The City Farm prison that was on the river in Denbigh came into existence about 1931. I think it was closed down for revitalizing the 57 acres on the James River the city owns. Newport News was consolidated with Warwick which is near Main Street, back in the (50's?). It began as the point of land at the tip of the peninsula, neighboring Hampton, and was never very wide. I would be very interested in finding out the civil war era infrastructure, which I believe was mainly farmland.
 

Lubliner

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You can see in this image from 1859 there wasn't much to Newport News. General Butler formed an encampment there to reinforce Fortress Monroe. In 1862 it offered some support during the naval battle between the Monitor and Merrimac. Other than that it was farm roads and farms as far as I have been able to ascertain. Due to its location, it was constantly used for shipping. What prisoners were taken before 1862, such as Newmarket and the battle at Big Bethel, I don't know yet. The point was controlled by the Union early on, and if a prisoner was taken by Gen. MacGruder, I never heard of an established jail nearer than maybe Yorktown.
Lubliner.
 
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ErnieMac

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The Historical Marker Database (HMdb.org) has a link to a marker and monument erected by the UCV near the site of the Newport News POW camp and cemetery which operated from April thru August, 1865.
 

Virginia Dave

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The paragraphs below are from his notes in an artillery manual.

Manoah Shockley's Civil War Diary written in his Artillery Hand-book written here with corrected
spellings M. Shockley was assigned to Barr's Battery on the 16th of October 1863 (4). Arrived at his
company on the 21st of October 1863 (4) at Saltville, VA and remained with the battery till the 6th of
April then was captured at Harper's farm then taken to prison.

April 3, 1865 Barr's Battery left on their way to Farmville they were captured on the 6th of the same
instant. After hard fight on the sixth instant. Then we were marched to Burke's station and camped.
Thence from there to city passed by the way of Petersburg. We were put on the boat on the 13th of
this instant.

I was captured at Harper's farm 12 miles west of Burkeville junction. I stayed near Black and White
station [Blackstone, Va.] on the night of the 8th instant.

I stayed on James River in the boat on my way to Newport News on the night of the 13th.
April 14 I am on the coast at Newport News. I am at Newport News. I was in prison on the 14th. The
15th not well. On a flat piece of land with a high plank fence building around.
It is guarded by Negroes
commanded by white officers 15th 16th) In prison at Newport News 17th) ditto I am mending I was
searched on the 17th 18th) I am tolerably well ? 19th) I am not well had bacon and beef for the ?
20th) to soap and quilt
 

Virginia Dave

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The Historical Marker Database (HMdb.org) has a link to a marker and monument erected by the UCV near the site of the Newport News POW camp and cemetery which operated from April thru August, 1865.
Thank you so much. This helps a lot.
 
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