“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Danville, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Prison Number 6

Confederate Prison 1863-1865

Prison Number 6 CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 15, 2013
1. Prison Number 6 CWT Marker
Inscription.  Built for use as a tobacco factory and leased to the Confederate government, this building housed many Federal soldiers captured in the Battle of the Crater at Petersburg in July 1864.

It was one of six buildings used in tobacco manufacturing, that housed more than 7,000 Union prisoners from November 1863 to April 1865. A smallpox epidemic was responsible for the deaths of a large number of the prison population early in 1864. A total of 1,323 deaths occurred among prisoners during the 16 months Danville served as a prison compound. Most of the dead were buried on a section of ground on Lee Street that became the Danville National Cemetery in 1867.

The building underwent substantial alteration in 1915. The original three-story structure, built in the Gothic Revival style with twin turrets and a recessed single bay facade, measured 90x40 feet. The interior was radically changed during renovation as well. Floor heights were changed and windows were relocated to accommodate the new floor levels.

The present four-story building is 95x70 feet and functioned as a leaf tobacco factory until 1937. From that time until
Prison Number 6 CWT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 15, 2013
2. Prison Number 6 CWT Marker
the early 1970s, it served as a general merchandise store and is commonly referred to as the C.R. Thomas building today.

”The Federal Government has definitely declined any further exchange of prisoners…. I would respectfully suggest that the City of Richmond is not a suitable place for the accommodation and safekeeping of these prisoners.... One [site] on the extension of the Danville Railroad, near the border of North Carolina [Danville] has been named, where wood is cheap and provisions are in abundance, where there is little danger of any enemy raids or attack from the enemy….” — Robert E. Lee in a letter to Secretary of War, James A. Seddon, October 28, 1863.
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails series list.
Location. 36° 35.166′ N, 79° 23.428′ W. Marker is in Danville, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Loyal Street and Lynn Street, on the right when traveling north on Loyal Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Danville VA 24541, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Confederate Prison No. 6 (here, next to this marker); Loyal Baptist Church
Prison Number 6 Markers image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, June 15, 2013
3. Prison Number 6 Markers
(within shouting distance of this marker); Bloody Monday (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Danville Tobacco Warehouse and Residential District (about 500 feet away); Danville System (about 500 feet away); The Worsham Street Bridge (approx. 0.2 miles away); 750 Main Street (approx. 0.3 miles away); Richmond & Danville Railroad (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Danville.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 16, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 609 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 16, 2013, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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Jun. 3, 2020