Andersonville – The Prison
Niki and I spent Memorial Day 2016 at the Andersonville Historic Site in Georgia. It is composed of three main sections: Andersonville Prison, The National Prisoner of War Museum and the Andersonville National Cemetery.
For those who may not know, Andersonville Prison was a Confederate Prison in Georgia.
Almost 45,000 Union soldiers were held prisoner at Camp Sumter, known as Andersonville, in 14 months. Nearly 13,000 died there. Conditions were deplorable with little food, a small swampy and contaminated water source and the most unsanitary conditions. Space was such that each individual had only the space of his extended arms.
The enormity of this cruelty hits home when standing on the site itself. The first photo shows the plot of land looking South. This Northern end of the compound has numerous monuments erected by the States that had many prisoners who were incarcerated there and many who died there. The tree with the fence shows one of several places the inmates tried tunneling out. None ever escaped by tunnels. They either caved in or were turned in by snitches among the prisoners.
The outermost white stake indicates the placement of the main wall while the inside stake marked an approximate 19′ “dead man’s zone” surrounding the camp where any prisoner would be shot without question or warning if he tried to approach the wall. There were 52 guard towers around the wall.
This second photo shows the camp looking toward the North. The stockade in the upper right corner marks the Northeast corner of the camp while the stone column (lower left) shows the Southwestern corner. The uncut area is the swampy area that was the tainted water source as well as the main lavatory.
Can you picture thousands of men in this small area?
The Northwest corner has several memorials.