A Forgotten Entrance to Hell: The Lynchburg Prisoner of War Camp, 1862-1865



As the culmination of the Civil War Sesquicentennial commemoration approaches, a number of scholarly works have appeared, expanding public knowledge of every facet of the conflict that seriously threatened the survival of the American Republic. One aspect of the struggle between the North and the South that finally has received some in-depth attention from students of the period is the question of the fate of the prisoners of war held by the Federal Government and the Confederacy. Perhaps one of the best kept secrets among local historians is the fact that from April 1862 until April 1865, Lynchburg was the site of a large prisoner of war camp.

Entire article available only in printed version. Lynch's Ferry is on sale at the following Lynchburg locations: Bookshop on the Avenue, Givens Books, Lynchburg Visitors Center, Old City Cemetery, Point of Honor, Market at Main, and Lynch's Ferry office at The Design Group.

Clifton W. Potter and his wife, Dorothy Turner Potter, have co-authored numerous books exploring Lynchburg’s past, including Lynchburg: Then & Now (2011) and Lynchburg 1757–2007 (2007). The couple earned their masters and doctorates at the University of Virginia. As undergraduates, both attended Lynchburg College where they now share an office. Clifton has been teaching at LC since 1965, and Dorothy has been a member of the history department since 1984.


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