Castle Morgan – Cahaba Prison – Selma Alabama

Diagram of Cahaba Prison

Diagram of Cahaba Prison

Cahaba Prison, also known as Castle Morgan, was a prisoner of war camp in Alabama where the Confederacy held captive Union soldiers during the American Civil War. The prison was located in the small Alabama town of Cahaba, at the confluence of the Alabama and Cahaba Rivers, not far from Selma.

The Cahaba Prison was opened as such in June 1863. The commanding officer was Captain H. A. M. Henderson, a Methodist minister. The prison took advantage of an existing structure, built in 1860 as a brick cotton warehouse on Arch Street, above the banks of the Alabama River. This structure covered approximately 15,000 square feet and was surrounded by a larger wooden stockade when converted into a prison. It was intended for only approximately 500 prisoners, but its population had grown to 660 by August 1864. When Union General Ulysses S. Grant suspended the practice of prisoner exchange with the Confederacy the numbers began to soar. By October 1864 the prison’s numbers had swelled to 2,151, they had grown to over 3,000 by March 1865.


Wikipedia contributors, “Cahaba Prison,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed March 30, 2017).