The Bull Ring At City Point

The Bull Ring At City Point (HMCW9)

Location: Hopewell, VA 23860
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 18.793', W 77° 16.62'

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A Dreaded Provost Prison

"It was a pen of filth and vermin." - William Howell Reed, a Sanitary Commission agent

The Bull Ring was the Union provost Marshal's prison at City Point used for the confinement of Union soldiers convicted or charged with desertion, murder, rape, disobedience, theft, drunkenness and other crimes. The pen was composed of three large one-story barracks which were surrounded by high wooden fences strictly guarded by sentries day and night. At the entrance was a horizontal bar of wood, supported by two upright posts from which were suspended short ropes used for tying up prisoners by the hands or thumbs as punishment.

According to William Howell Reed, a Sanitary Commission agent, the condition of the inmates was horrible. "It was a pen of filth and vermin." Reed said he "could readily believe the officer, who had been a prisoner at Richmond, when he said that he would rather be confined in the Libby prison for six months than in the Bull-Ring for one."

During the last week of the war thousands of Confederate prisoners were sent to City Point to await transportation to northern internment camps. At this time the Bull Ring was used to confine Confederate prisoners. There were so many Confederates in the Bull Ring that the overflow were allowed to sleep outside the enclosure.
HM NumberHMCW9
Series This marker is part of the Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByVirginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 2:52pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 298221 N 4132050
Decimal Degrees37.31321667, -77.27700000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 18.793', W 77° 16.62'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 18' 47.58" N, 77° 16' 37.20" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 506-598 Cedar Ln, Hopewell VA 23860, US
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