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Contact: Mike Andrus, 804 226-1981 x. 30
The National Park Service continues its weekly series of downtown talks, tours, and tales highlighting Richmond’s Civil War history on August 16, 2008, with a guided tour of the Prisoner of War camp on Belle Isle. The one-hour walking tour - Forgotten Casualties of War – A Prisoner's Life on Belle Isle - begins at 2:00 p.m. at the park's Civil War Visitor Center at Historic Tredegar Iron Works. Prior to the walking tour a presentation on Richmond prisons will be offered by the American Civil War Center at 1:00 p.m. There is no charge for the Belle Isle tour and the presentation on Richmond prisons is free with admission to the American Civil War Center. Paid parking is available on site.
Between 1861 and 1865 the Confederate military established two of the South's more notable prisons here in Richmond. Libby's, formerly a warehouse, housed hundreds of Union officers. Enlisted men, however, ended up huddled together on the tip of the "beautiful island" in the middle of the James. Exposure, filth, fear and unending hunger were just some of the everyday conditions suffered by all prisoners during the war. Staff historian Mike Gorman will share the stories of these forgotten casualties and the uncertain fate that awaited thousands of Union prisoners sent to Belle Isle.