Civil War Captives

Lots of people who make a trip to visit historic Charleston are interested in seeing Civil War sites. We do have harbor forts that are very popular, but one fascinating structure that most don’t know about is the old District Jail on Magazine Street. Built back in the early 1800’s to resemble a towering castle, the imposing structure has a long history of suffering prisoners. In 1864, in the last stages of the Civil War when Confederate prison camps were being threatened by invading northern troops, hundreds of Federal prisoners were sent by train to Charleston and kept at the old district jail. There were so many that there wasn’t room for them in the structure, and many camped in tents outside.

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