Confederate prisoners at Belle Plain Landing, Va., captured with Johnson’s Division, May 12, 1864
Series probably taken by an unknown photographer of Matthew Brady’s firm on May 16th or 17th, 1864. The "Punch Bowl" was the informal name for a series of ravines at Belle Plain, Virginia, that became a temporary holding area for Confederate’s captured during the Overland Campaign.
Arguing against their identity as Johnson’s Division is the fact that one of the other shots taken on this visit to the Punch Bowl shows a group of prisoners around a dugout. Historian William Frassanito was able to enlarge the image to show a hat insignia reading “AL 4”, presumably the 4th Alabama of Field’s Division, Longstreet’s Corps. About 7500 prisoners from both the Wilderness and Spotsylvania were moved through this holding area between May 13th to 18th. Only about 3000 of those were from Johnson’s Division.
- Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print