From the Weekly Kansas Chief (Troy, Kan.), 11/6/1879, p. 4, c. 2

The Last of a Somewhat Notorious Historical Landmark.

RICHMOND, VA., August 26. – At about 1 o’clock this morning a fire broke out in the box factory of R. H. Whitlock & Co., totally destroying the entire works and stock, and the tobacco factory of Turpin Bros., adjoining. The total loss on the two buildings and stock of both concerns will exceed $75,000; partially insured. Turpin’s tobacco factory, known as Castle Thunder, was used during the war by the Confederate government as a military prison for deserters from the army, and spies and suspicious persons arrested within their lines. The notorious Mrs. Dr. Mary Walker, who was arrested during the latter part of the struggle, habited in a full bloomer suit, was confined for several months in the female department of the Castle. The building had become a historic structure, and no landmark of the late struggle was better known by the soldiers in the South, and by the prisoners taken around Richmond from the Federal army, than this. Many a deserter and bushwhacker, who were confined within its gloomy walls, will read of its destruction with infinite pleasure. The Federal captain who was convicted of being a spy and hanged, near this city, during the last years of the conflict, was kept in a close cell in this prison for months before his death. The Castle was the scene of a hanging in the last year of the war, the victim being a man convicted of deserting the Confederate army and the commission of other crimes. The gallows was arranged in the prison, and the dangling man was dropped through the hatchway. Several attempts were made before the job was completed. After the war, Major Turner, the Commandant of the prison, was arrested and imprisoned.

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