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2015 Official Alton Visitors Guide
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Confederate Prison

William Street & Broadway Street
Alton, IL 62002
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P: (800) 258-6645
P: (800) 258-6645
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3.5 of 5 bubbles
37 Reviews
Confederate Prison

In just three years, more than 11,700 Confederate prisoners passed through the gates of the Alton Prison and were held captive with its walls. The Alton Prison, opened in 1833 and closed in 1860, was the first Illinois State Penitentiary. In December of 1861, after inspecting the facilities, Major General Henry Halleck, Commander of the Department of the Missouri, prepared to have the prison re-opened as a the Alton Federal Military Prison.

Click here to listen to a story about the old Confederate Prison.

On Feb. 9, 1862, the first prisoners arrived at the prison. Inmates of the prison included Confederate soldiers, citizens imprisoned for treason acts, and bushwackers or guerillas imprisoned for acts against the government. Much of the time, the prison was overcrowded, prisoners were malnourished and had inadequate clothing.  

Under these dilapidated conditions, prisoners were exposed to influenza, dysentery and small pox. The small pox epidemic grew in numbers, and the official military death toll listed 1,354 deceased. A monument dedicated to those who perished can be found at their burial site in the Confederate Cemetery.

After the war, the prison was privately purchased and building blocks were removed.  The remaining small portion of the wall was restored in 1973 and may be visited today. 

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Alton Prison
214 William St, Alton, IL 62002-6146
3.5 of 5 bubbles
37 Reviews
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7
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10
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Recent Reviews
Ann M
Houston, Texas
Trip type:
Solo travel
Small Rock Wall Left
Mar 19, 2018
There is a small wall of the prison thats left. Some how they forgot to preserve history. On the side of the wall there is billboard types of information interesting.... more »
etherius
Bismarck, Missouri
A little bit of history... little bit only
Jan 22, 2018
Easily missed, this tiny portion of Alton history is all that is left of the Alton prison. Stones from the original prison have been used in buildings all over town.... more »
Jackie760
Jacksonville, Illinois
Trip type:
Family
civil war prison
Nov 1, 2017
not much left to see. The historical story is very interesting but there isn't much left to see. It's a shame that the city of Alton didn't do more to... more »
Kim S
Freeport, Illinois
Trip type:
Couples
interesting
Oct 11, 2017
I saw this as part of a tour. It was interesting and there is a lot of signage which tells the story of the land and the prison. more »
clb5169
Alton, Illinois
Trip type:
Solo travel
Alton prison
Oct 8, 2017
I was checking out a business on William Street in Alton today . The civil war landmark is on this street also. It doesn't take too long to visit &... more »
1-5 of 37 Reviews

These reviews are the subjective opinions of individual travelers and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.

© 2018 TripAdvisor LLC
Confederate Prison

In just three years, more than 11,700 Confederate prisoners passed through the gates of the Alton Prison and were held captive with its walls. The Alton Prison, opened in 1833 and closed in 1860, was the first Illinois State Penitentiary. In December of 1861, after inspecting the facilities, Major General Henry Halleck, Commander of the Department of the Missouri, prepared to have the prison re-opened as a the Alton Federal Military Prison.

Click here to listen to a story about the old Confederate Prison.

On Feb. 9, 1862, the first prisoners arrived at the prison. Inmates of the prison included Confederate soldiers, citizens imprisoned for treason acts, and bushwackers or guerillas imprisoned for acts against the government. Much of the time, the prison was overcrowded, prisoners were malnourished and had inadequate clothing.  

Under these dilapidated conditions, prisoners were exposed to influenza, dysentery and small pox. The small pox epidemic grew in numbers, and the official military death toll listed 1,354 deceased. A monument dedicated to those who perished can be found at their burial site in the Confederate Cemetery.

After the war, the prison was privately purchased and building blocks were removed.  The remaining small portion of the wall was restored in 1973 and may be visited today. 

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