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Belle Isle: 1865

Belle Isle: 1865

Spring 1865. Belle Isle railroad bridge from the south bank of the James River after the fall of Richmond. View full size. Glass plate negative from the Civil War collection compiled by Hirst D. Milhollen and Donald H. Mugridge.

 

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Belle Isle

What are those large buildings in the distance on the right? they look like modern apartment complexes.

Lens

Someone miscalculated the coverage of the lens.

Belle Isle

This was one of the first Confederate prison camps of the Civil War. It opened after the First Battle of Bull Run and held Union Army NCO's and enlisted men. There were no barracks constructed, the only shelters were tents. Just a guess but that fence along the top of the ridge was likely the stockade. While it was intended to hold only 3,000 numbers grew to double that and led to many prisoners being shipped further south to other camps, most infamously Andersonville.

In any instance, the river made escapes dangerous, especially in light of the weakened condition of most prisoners.

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