Col. R. H. CHILTON,
Asst. Adjt. and Insp. General's Office, Richmond, Va.:
COLONEL: I have the honor to present the following report of
my inspection of Castle Thunder Prison, Captain Richardson, commandant:
Prison buildings.--There are three buildings used as prisons,
viz, Castle Thunder, with a capacity for 650 prisoners, containing at
present 442; Whittock's building, used for negro quarters and prison for
women, with a capacity for 350 prisoners, containing at present 109, and
Palmer's factory, used for Yankee deserters, with a capacity for 400
prisoners, containing at present 160.
The prisons are clean and healthy and the sinks free from noisome
smells and filth.
There is, however, one room in the wing end of the Castle the roof of
which leaks, and I deem it necessary for the health of the prisoners and
the protection and preservation of the building that it be repaired at
Prisoners.--There are 711 prisoners confined in the different
buildings. They are hearty and well cared for, receiving kind treatment
from both officers and employés.
Rations.--The rations tarnished the prisoners are the same
furnished to the prisoners of war in the Libby and other prisons in
Richmond, being one pound of corn bread, one-third of a pound of bacon,
and eight quarts of peas or ten pounds of rice to the hundred rations
made into a palatable and nutritious soup.
Books of record, &c.--The commandant, Captain Richardson, keeps
a most excellent system of records and registry. His office books are
neatly and accurately kept, and exhibit a complete and comprehensive
record of each prisoner received.
Cells.--The cells are not properly ventilated and are not
sufficient in number. There are four besides the condemned cell. I would
respectfully recommend that four additional cells be constructed, and
that the old ones be reconstructed so as to allow sufficient fresh air
for the health of those confined in them.
Guards.--The guard is kept under strict discipline and a rigid
compliance with the prison rules enforced. The commandant evinces a
laudable desire to promote the comfort of the prisoners under his
<ar120_205> charge, and permits them to cultivate a small garden within
the walls of the prison, the produce of which will greatly add to their
comfort and health.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. McRAE SELPH,
Assistant Adjutant and Inspector General.