Andersonville National Historic Site, Georgia
Mar 23, 2007
|We left the Rally grounds this morning and headed out to Andersonville National Historic Site.
When the Civil War began, neither side expected a long conflict. Although there was no formal exchange system at the beginning of the war, both sides paroled prioners. This exchange program lasted less than a year. By 1863 both the North and South found themselves with thousands of prisoners of war.
Andersonville, or Camp Sumter as it was officially known, was one of the largest of many Confederate military prisons established during the Civil War.
It was established here due to its proximity to the railroad, water and building supplies.
The first prisoners were brought here in February 1864. During the next few months approximately 400 more arrived each day until, by the end of June, some 26,000 men were confined in a prison area originally intended for 10,000.
The largest number held at any one time was 32,000
- about the current population of the county.
The confined soldiers suffered terribly.
The most common problems confronting prisoners were overcrowding, poor sanitation and inadequate food. By the end of the war over 13,000 prisoners had died at Andersonville.
. Of 194,732 Union Soldiers held in Confederate prison camps over 30,000 died while captive. Union forces held about 220,000 Confederate prisoners, nearly 26,000 of whom died.
Our visit was on a beautiful Spring day. It all looked very peaceful and relaxing. It was very difficult to fully comprehend the amount of suffering and death that occured here.