Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Kathryn S. Meier

Second Advisor

Dr. Ryan K. Smith

Third Advisor

Dr. John M. Coski


The study of Civil War prisons is relatively new within the broader study of the Civil War. What little study there is tends to focus on bigger prison camps. It has been established in the historiography that prisoners suffered across the divided nation, but it has not been ascertained how the decisions and policies of the government, as well as the role of the press in those decisions, effected the daily lives of Civil War prisoners. Belle Isle, a Confederate Prison, and Point Lookout, a Union prison, will be analyzed for key differences to provide a fuller picture of life inside a Civil War prison camp, as well as how the press and government affected that daily life. It was discovered that the role of the government and the press was heavily influential in the lives of Civil War prisoners, leading to much suffering.


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VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission