Andersonville Prison- Civil War

This prison is one that nearly everyone has heard of, where so many Union soldiers died. Measuring a time span of 14 months (Feb. 1864-May 1865) in Camp Sumter (actual name of the prison) located near Andersonville, Georgia, some 13,000 (28%) of the 45,000 Union soldiers confined there died. Their deaths were due to ignorance of nutrition and proper sanitation even in the Union prisons. Deaths were due to diarrhea, scurvy, typhoid fever, and dysentery. Some months the average was 100 men died a day.

There was also a lack of enough food at the prison, most food going to the Confederate troops.

Burials were in mass graves.

Additional information on prisoners imprisoned at Andersonville or Cahaba (in Alabama) can be found on the online site ‘Civil War Prisoners‘. This free database also has about the database of the more than 1,500 Union soldiers who died on the steamboat Sultana in 1865. Those men had survived and been released from Andersonville and Cahaba and were on their way home when the boilers of the boat exploded, killing most on board.

The site of the former prison, Andersonville is a National Historic site with a National Prisoner of War Museum constructed in 1998, to be a memorial to all American Prisoners of War. The Andersonville National Cemetery is the burial ground for those who died there. It has 13,714 graves, of which 921 are marked ‘unknown’.

Reminder, most of the Federal northern prison camps for Confederate soldiers were just as bad. Names such as Camps Chase, Douglas, and Elmira, and even Confederate prisoners on decrepit prison barges in New York harbor eaten alive by rats.

Here is an online site with more details on some of the Southern and Northern POW camps.

Photos: Andersonville Prison in Georgia.

Related Blogs:

Your Blue and Gray Ancestors

Civil War Medical Records

Union Soldiers – Burials

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