Smithsonian Institution "Castle"
Attributed to Mathew Brady Studio, 1863
Among Washington landmarks, three in particular became noteworthy during the Civil War. The Smithsonian Institution "Castle" was the home of the first secretary, Joseph Henry, and his family. Henry tried to keep the institution neutral during the war and elected not to fly the American flag over the building's tower. The Old Capitol Prison was once the temporary quarters for Congress after the British burned the Capitol building in 1814. Used as a prison during the Civil War, it held many noted southern sympathizers, including Confederate spies Rose Greenhow and Belle Boyd. Lincoln's assassination at Ford's Theatre, seen here with black crepe draped from the windows, would forever designate that brick building as a national historic site.