From the New York Times, 1/29/1863


From the Richmond Examiner, Jan. 29.

Between 4 and 5 o’clock Monday afternoon, an alarm from the Yankee prisoners confined in the building opposite Castle Thunder, led to the discovery that the Confederate prisoners in the Castle had fired the same by communicating fire by some means to an apartment below them on the second floor, occupied by the clerks as a sleeping room. When discovered, a bed and bedstead were in full blaze, and a few minutes would have sufficed to have spread the flames beyond the apartment. By order of Capt. ALEXANDER, all the avenues of escape were closed upon the prisoners, and ten of the Yankee sailors on the lower floor formed into a squad to pass water in the room. In a few moments, before the prisoners could get up excitement enough to create a panic and stampede, which was their object, the burning materials were hurled from the windows, and the flames quenched. This diabolical attempt to burn a building containing five or six hundred confined inmates, and which would probably have involved the lives of the incendiaries, as well as scores of others, best illustrates the amount of hellish recklessness and deviltry which is congregated within the walls of Castle Thunder.

The timely discovery of the flames was most fortunate, as the Castle is in close proximity to other buildings filled with prisoners of war.

The loss, as it is, falls upon Mr. SIDNEY S. BUCK, the clerk, who lost his bed and some of his wardrobe; and detective CAPHART, who lost some articles of apparel.

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