During the war, the jail was used to hold Rebel soldiers as well as criminals, and conditions seem, if anything, to have worsened. In a letter written from Canada by Henry Stone of the 9th Kentucky Cavalry, Co. D, CSA in 1863, he says, "Got a letter from Cousin Sallie Johnson, who says three Rebels got out of Mt. Sterling dungeon the other night, prying bars in the widow loose. There was a tier of bars at each window, eight feet from the floor and nothing to pry with then I was there. I suffered in that place. It was dark at night; no candle; cold and damp, no fire, and for the first three nights I had no blanket. I had to eat, sleep, drink and answer nature in the same room. (p.106)
|40 Broadway Street|
The cook was a black woman named Rachel Regan, who undoubtedly had been a slave just five years earlier. The prisoners included two white prisoners, John Broth and Wm. Landsaw, and one black prisoner named Jim Wyatt.
|Side Entrance to Jail and|
Upper Story Living Quarters
The jailer at this time was T. H. Probert, who was paid 75 cents a day (per prisoner) for "dieting" prisoners. The county also assumed the costs of fuel, medicine and doctor's visits for inmates. City prisoners in this period were used as labor at a rock quarry on Queen St., working out their fines at $1.50 a day, or were used by the jailer in cleaning streets.
This was to be Thomas' job until his death ten years later. It was probably not the best job, but one with a guaranteed, legal income in the tumultuous period following the end of the war.
Boyd, Carl B and Boyd, Hazel Mason. History of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, 1792-1918, pp. 106-107.