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Cypress and Nail from Old Libby Prison Relic - Stood in Two Locations during It's Existence From 1845-1899

Inv# AM1170
State(s): Virginia
Years: 1845-1899

Libby Prison was built in 1845 by John Enders in Richmond, VA., and was used as a warehouse. It was located at Carey and 18th Streets and the James River. In March 1862 it was used as a military prison by the Confederate Government. In 1864 a group of over 100 Union Officers attempted an escape. Over half made their way to freedom. After the war the building was dismantled in 1889 and shipped to Chicago to be used for a Civil War Museum. In 1898 it was again dismantled and a large portion sold to an Indiana farmer who built a stock barn with the timbers and brick. In 1963 the building was torn down and sold to Charles Mercer of Spencer, Indiana who intended to build a museum with the materials. In 1995 the materials were sold to Rod Wampler of Gosport, Indiana where they lay until sold at auction in October 2006. The majority of the materials are being returned to Virginia where they will be re-constructed at a famous Civil War museum.

Libby Prison was a Confederate prison at Richmond, Virginia, during the American Civil War. In 1862 it was designated to hold officer prisoners from the Union Army, taking in numbers from the nearby Seven Days battles (in which nearly 16,000 Union men and officers had been killed, wounded, or captured between June 25 and July 1 alone) and other conflicts of the Union's Peninsular campaign to take Richmond and end the war only a year after it had begun. As the conflict wore on the prison gained an infamous reputation for the overcrowded and harsh conditions. Prisoners suffered high mortality from disease and malnutrition. By 1863, one thousand prisoners were crowded into large open rooms on two floors, with open, barred windows leaving them exposed to weather and temperature extremes.

The building was built before the war as a tobacco warehouse and then used for food and groceries before being converted to a prison. In 1889, Charles F. Gunther moved the structure to Chicago and renovated it as a war museum. A decade later, the Coliseum Company dismantled the building and sold its pieces as souvenirs. Read more at

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Condition: Excellent
Item ordered may not be exact piece shown. All original and authentic.
Price: $335.00