This site was established to serve as a memorial to all the Americans held here as prisoners of war. The site includes a Prisoner of War Museum, the Active National Cemetery, and the old prison site. This photo was taken at the entrance to the cemetery and the drive was lined with American flags. Today there is one lone flag in the center of the four quadrants. Andersonville National Historic Site is unique, in that it is the only cemetery and prison site. An indication of the grim life suffered by both the North and South during the war, the historic site was established in 1970. Visitors can view the restored section of the stockade in the pigeon roosts and etc. The National Museum boasts of the prisoner of war exhibits as well as information on all wars holding American captives. Artifacts from life at the prison can be found here. To be captured and imprisoned was a horror shared by both North and South. It was considered a miracle if one survived. During the War Between the States the number of deaths far exceeded those of previous wars. It was not because the Confederate or Union guards were cruel or incompetent, but the lack of medical facilities, personnel, over crowding, and lack of food and shelter. Today these photos represent the exit only to Camp Sumter.

Andersonville is the site of the Confederate prisoner – of – war Camp Sumter. After the collapse of the prisoner exchange, Captain W. Sidney Winder sought a site to house the prisoners of war. He examined two sites in Georgia, Radium Springs near Albany and Magnolia Springs located between Americus and Plains. He was directed to Andersonville, a small farming town. The two land owners, Benjamin Dykes and Wesley Turner, were willing to rent the land at what seemed to be an ideal location. The area was covered in pine trees which could be cut to form the stockade walls and a small stream divided two hillsides. Another Important factor was it was conveniently located to the Railroad and the Andersonville depot. A deal was made and construction began on a 16 ˝ -acre wooden stockade to house 6,000 enlisted Union prisoners, who began arriving in February 1864. They thought this was more favorable than their previous home on Belle Isle, a mosquito-infested island in the James River at Richmond. By May, conditions had already started to wane. The guard force of the 55th, 56th, and 57th Georgia Infantry, was replaced by regiments of Ga. Reserves. Which was composed of young boys and old men with little military training. By June the internees had risen to 25,000. Disease flourished and medical reports show that diarrhea, dysentery, scurvy, and pneumonia took their tole as did small pox. Getting medical supplies was a daunting challenge. Sanitation and basic items needed for survival, such as food and water, made life at Andersonville prison a horrible existence. Matters were worse when the "Raiders" a gang numbering a couple of hundred banded together. They were ruthless and stole food, clothing, and any valuables from their peers. Beating and stealing eventually led to outright murder of fellow prisoners. Some of the gang was caught by the set up police force. They rounded up many of the raiders and turned them over to camp authorities for punishment. A trial was held for the six leaders. The jury, 24 Union sergeants who had recently arrived, found these men guilty and Captain Wirtz allowed the prisoners to carry out the sentence which was hanging. Life for the old men and boys of the Reserves was the same as the prisoners as they too suffered from the same diseases and inadequate provisions. Many of the Andersonville prisoners felt forsaken. Although exchanges were resumed in January 1865, soldiers continued to languish in Camp Sumter. This document paints a rather unpleasant picture of the horrors of prison life for both the prisoner and the guards.

The prison pen initially covered about 16 ˝ acres of land enclosed by a 15- foot-high stockade of hewed pine logs. It was enlarged to 26 ˝ acres in June 1864. The prison proper was in the shape of a parallelogram 1,620 feet long and 779 feet wide. Sentry boxes, or "pigeon-roost" as the prisoners called them, stood at 30-yard intervals along the top of the stockade. Inside, about 19 feet from the wall, was the "deadline," which the prisoners were forbidden to cross upon threat of death. A branch of Sweetwater Creek flowed through the prison yard. This stream, called Stockade Branch, supplied water to most of the prison. Two entrances, the North Gate and the South Gate, were on the west side of the stockade. Eight small earthen forts located around the exterior of the prison were equipped with artillery to put down disturbances within the compound and to defend against feared Union cavalry attacks.

Pennsylvania Monument

Bordered by massive magnolias, the Pennsylvania Monument rises from a small knoll in the National Cemetery. A bronze plaque on the wall depicts prisoners reaching into the deadline with cups to obtain the waters of Providence Spring. The soldier atop, replica of a prisoner of war, was originally to face North. The plans were changed for aesthetic reasons. The lad now faces Americus, Georgia home of Miller and Clark, the company that constructed the monument.

Andersonville National Cemetery, established on July 26, 1865, continues to provide a permanent resting place of honor for deceased veterans. The initial interments-12,914 of them-were of those who had died in the nearby prison camp and are contained in sections E, F, H, J, and K. By 1868 more than 800 additional interments in sections B and C of Union soldiers who had died in hospitals, other prisoner of war camps, and on the battlefields of central and southwest Georgia brought the total burials to more than 13,700. Of these, more than 500 are unknowns. Today the cemetery is composed of 17 sections. A through R (there is no section O), and contains more than 17,000 interments. The sections are arranged in four quadrants separated by the cemetery roads.

Georgia Monument

The striking figures, faces grim and gaunt, stand solemnly at the entrance to the National Cemetery. Sculptor William Thompson’s bronze and marble design was selected over other entries to be the state of Georgia’s memorial to all Americans fighting in wars from our country’s birth up to the present. The sculpture is a universal design without reference to any particular branch of the military with accent placed on the inner struggle and strength of the prisoners. It was commissioned by Governor Jimmy Carter. The monument was unveiled in 1976.

Odd Fellows and Rebekahs

Odd Fellowship became the 1st national fraternity to include both men and women when it adopted the beautiful Rebekah Degree on September 20, 1851. This degree is based on the teachings found in the Holy Bible, and was written by the Honorable Schuyler Colfax who was Vice President of the United States during the period 1868-1873. Odd Fellows and Rebekahs were also the first fraternal organization to establish homes for our senior members and for orphaned children.

Providence Springs

Providence Springs House was built in 1901 to mark the site where, on August 9,1864, a spring burst forth during a heavy summer rainstorm. The Andersonville prisoners thirst for water was the result of a drought that dried the springs and the well that supplied water. The guards and prisoners prayed night and day for water. After several days and nights of prayer there was a heavy rainfall and it continued for a long spell. An occurrence many prisoners attributed to the Divine Providence . The fountain bowl in the Spring house was purchased through funds raised by former Andersonville Prisoners. Andersonville National cemetery is located on Georgia Highway 49.

Tennessee Monument

Inscription on the front of the monument: "In Memory of Her Union Soldiers and Loyal Sons Who Died in Confederate Prisons during the War of 1861-1865. We Who Live May for Ourselves Forget, But Not for Those Who Died Here. 1284 Died."

Inscription on back of the monument: "This Monument was Erected by the Voluntary Contributions of Their Surviving Comrades and Friends"

The Tennessee monument is located inside the stockade area of Camp Sumter. The stockade wall and dead line are now represented by wooden post showing where they once were located. None of the original walls remain, but there is a representation of wall reconstructed on the site

Iowa Monument

The state of Iowa approved $10,000 for the monument and appointed five former prisoners of war to the commission charged with erecting a suitable monument. It reads: "Commemorative of the valor, suffering and martyrdom of the Iowa soldiers." On the front it reads: "Iowa honors the turf that wraps their clay." "THE UNKNOWN" Their names are recorded in the archives of their country by act of the thirteenth General Assembly. A granite figure of the kneeling woman silently weeps for the sons of Iowa who lie below. The marker reads: "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore, neither shall the sun light in the lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Rev. VII.16-17." The Iowa monument is located in section "K" in the Southeast Quadrant, which is the oldest part of the cemetery.

Lizabeth A. Turner

Perhaps no other person worked as hard to preserve Andersonville Prison as Women’s Relief Corps President Lizabeth Turner. This monument in her honor was erected at the prison site ten years after her death. The wooden headboards would be replaced with permanent marble headstones beginning in 1877. The prison site would be donated by the Women’s Relief Corps to the United States in 1910. It was to be administered by the War Department until 1970 when the prison and cemetery were joined as Andersonville National Historic Site, under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.

New York Monument

North and South play a role in many monuments at Andersonville. More soldiers from New York were confined at Andersonville than from any other state. The granite used in the New York Monument came from North Carolina, while the bronze sculptures were produced by Roman Bronze Works of Brooklyn. The female symbolizes the state of New York and holds wreaths to decorate the graves.

Michigan Monument

This marker of granite reads: "In Memoriam"; "Erected by the State of Michigan to her soldiers and sailors who were imprisoned on these grounds. The marker absorbs the afternoon sun. On these prison grounds over 1,400 Michigan soldiers watched similar afternoons descend into evening. The artistically carved structure seems to cast her thoughts back to those lonely souls who called Andersonville home.

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