From the Richmond Examiner, 3/2/1864

A LAMENTABLE MISTAKE – A DETECTIVE OFFICER SHOT BY THE PRISON GUARD. – Between eleven and twelve o’clock yesterday morning one of those unforeseen circumstances which sometimes occur under a system of military discipline, took place at the Deserters’ Prison, opposite Castle Thunder. – The prisoners had been annoying the guard by throwing bricks and pieces of timber, and applying insulting epithets to them. After standing it sometime, a sentinel on Cary street, named H. C. Jordan, Company D, Twentieth Virginia battalion, put the prison rule in force by firing his musket at one of the most obnoxious of the prisoners as he appeared at a third story window. The shot was without effect. Upon the discharge of the piece, detective officers James L. Woodis and Lemuel Powell, on duty at Castle Thunder, went across into the prison quarters for the purpose of enforcing order among the Yankees. Unfortunately, they did so without first notifying the guard of their intention. Woodis mounted to the third story, and putting his head out of the window, spoke to the sentinel, Jordan, saying, “All right.” Jordan, who had reloaded his musket, mistook Woodis for a Yankee, and, smarting under his former annoyance, drew up his musket, and fired. The ball struck Woodis fair in the right eye, passed directly through without breaking the eyelid, and lodged in the back of the skull, fracturing and breaking out the skull bone in its passage. Woodis fell insensible, in a gore of blood, and the mistake of the sentinel having been discovered, immediate assistance was rendered him. We was carried on a litter to his home, on Union Hill, where several physicians were called. Every indication pointed to his death last evening, as there was no possible hope of his surviving. Woodis had held the appointment of detective about three months; is about thirty-two years of age, and the husband of a wife and father of a dependent family of the three children.

Jordan was not placed under arrest, as it was evident that, in enforcing the prison rule, he did not recognize Woodis, but mistook him for one of the prisoners.

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