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Confederate Prison

William Street & Broadway Street
Alton, IL 62002
(800) 258-6645 PHONE | (800) 258-6645
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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.

Traveler Reviews brought to you by
Alton Prison
214 William St, Alton, IL 62002-6146
3.5 of 5 bubbles
44 Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
Very Good
Recent Reviews
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Don't Get Too Excited... It's just two partial, broken walls
Oct 12, 2019
I drove by this place while visiting my hometown after being away for 10 years. Yup, the Alton Prison "walls" are still there... but, if you are looking for a... more »
Dewayne P
Elizabethtown, Kentucky
Ruins of history
Sep 2, 2019
There really is not much left of the building and only a few signs. It is hidden off the beaten path and you would have to know where it was.... more »
Trip type:
Just a neat historic place
Jul 14, 2019
A confederate history must, There isn't much there any longer, but the history behind the place and stories attached to it, makes a great place to stop. more »
Southern Illinois
Trip type:
Historical Significance
Jun 10, 2019
Like other reviewers mentioned, this is a bit difficult to locate and not much of the ruins are left. However, if you like American and/or Civil War history you need... more »
Trip type:
Neat Little Stop
Aug 4, 2018
Not too much here but still a neat little stop to view the ruins that are left. Several detailed informative boards give some history of the Prison and its' role... more »
1-5 of 44 Reviews

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

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Confederate Prison

William Street & Broadway Street
Alton, IL 62002
(800) 258-6645 PHONE