Andersonville National Historic Site

Andersonville National Historic Site Welcome to the official page for Andersonville National Historic Site! The park's mission is to provide an understanding of the overall prisoner of war story of the Civil War and to interpret the role of prisoner of war camps in history.
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Welcome! Andersonville National Historic Site includes the site of Camp Sumter Civil War Military Prison; Andersonville National Cemetery; & the National Prisoner of War Museum. Park grounds & the national cemetery are open 8:00 am-5:00 pm daily. The National Prisoner of War Museum is open 9:30 am-4:30 pm daily. No fee is charged to visit. Page Expectations & Guidelines: We hope this will become a place where fans feel comfortable sharing information and experiences, about Andersonville, American prisoners of war, and with one another. While this is an open forum, it is also a family friendly one, so please keep your comments and wall posts clean. Please be considerate of other fan's opinions. We do not allow graphic, obscene, explicit or racial comments or submissions, nor do we allow comments that are abusive, hateful or intended to defame anyone or any organization. We do not allow solicitations or advertisements. This includes promotion or endorsement of any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. Such posts and/or links are subject to deletion. People who continue to post such content and/or links may be subject to page participation restrictions and/or removal from the page. We do not allow attempts to defame or defraud any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. We do not allow comments that suggest or encourage illegal activity. You participate at your own risk, taking personal responsibility for your comments, your username and any information provided. Posting of external links on this site that are intended as advertising (or to drive traffic to websites unrelated to Andersonville), or do not contribute to dialog and discussions about the park may be deleted. People who continue to post such links may be subject to page participation restrictions and/or removal from the page. External links do not constitute official endorsement on behalf of the U.S. National Park Service or the U.S. Department of Interior.

Operating as usual

Born in Pennsylvania on February 14, 1842, Ezra Ripple worked as a tavern owner and pharmacist before the war. He joined...
04/17/2021

Born in Pennsylvania on February 14, 1842, Ezra Ripple worked as a tavern owner and pharmacist before the war. He joined the 52nd Pennsylvania Infantry in April of 1864. Due to his poor eyesight he was normally assigned to orderly duties. Before the attack on Fort Johnson in Charleston Harbor, however, he was able to talk his way into fighting. The attack failed and Ripple was taken prisoner with around 140 other men.

Ripple was confined at Andersonville from July to October 1864. An accomplished violinist, Ripple was able to obtain a violin through trade with other prisoners. While at Andersonville he performed small concerts for the prisoners. He was later transferred to Florence, South Carolina where he organized a small orchestra of fellow prisoners. They were allowed to play outside the prison at local events. Ripple returned to Scranton, Pennsylvania after the war where he was elected mayor of the city. He died on November 19, 1909.

Image credit: NPS/ANDE

Alt text: Black and white photo of man in period clothing.

-D.D.

04/13/2021

Phone lines at the National Prisoner of War Museum are currently down. Please call 229–924-0343 ext. 115 for general information.

The first female POW since World War II was Army Transportation Specialist Melissa Rathbun-Nealy. During the Persian Gul...
04/13/2021

The first female POW since World War II was Army Transportation Specialist Melissa Rathbun-Nealy. During the Persian Gulf War, she was assigned to the 233rd Transportation Company. On January 30, 1991, Rathbun-Nealy and Spec. David Lockett were driving a heavy flatbed truck near the Kuwait and Saudi Arabian borders. Their vehicle came under enemy fire, and when the truck got stuck in deep sand, the two soldiers were not able to escape a group of pursuing Iraqis. Both American soldiers were injured, and Rathbun-Nealy suffered a bullet wound in the arm. Rathbun-Nealy was taken to Basra and was later moved to a Baghdad. She was the first U.S. military woman seized in a non-medical role. Rathbun-Nealy was held for 34 days and was released unharmed on March 3, 1991. For her actions during the Gulf War, Rathbun-Nealy received the Purple Heart, Prisoner of War, and the National Defense Service Medals.

Image Credit: NPS/ ANDE

ALT TEXT: Color photo of group of people waving American flags and hugging U.S. service member, Melissa Rathbun-Nealy

-T.S.

Twenty-three years ago, The National Prisoner of War Museum at Andersonville National Historic Site was dedicated on Apr...
04/09/2021

Twenty-three years ago, The National Prisoner of War Museum at Andersonville National Historic Site was dedicated on April 9, 1998 to all American Prisoners of War who have served their country with dignity and distinction, so that current and future generations would be inspired by their service to a renewed sense of patriotism and freedom. The museum captures the stories and experiences of men and women of all branches of military and of all wars from as early as the Revolutionary War to present day.

The prisoner of war experience is one few women and men are able to share. It is neither dishonorable nor heroic to be taken prisoner. Capture is usually accidental which often comes as a surprise and is frequently accompanied by injury. Confinement is usually brutal, painful and in some cases, fatal. Throughout imprisonment, these men and women hardly complained and never surrendered. The men and women whose stories are preserved here, risked their own freedom so that their fellow Americans could remain free. Their stories embody sacrifice and courage; their legacy: the gift of liberty.

Today, we celebrate National Former POW Recognition Day and honor the men and women who selflessly served! We would also like to thank the many individuals and groups, including the People of Georgia, the American Ex-Prisoners of War and the Friends of Andersonville for their collective effort to make operating this museum possible.

Image Credit: ANDE/ NPS

Alt text: A color photograph of a man standing next to a brick column that reads, “National Prisoner of War Museum”.

-M.S.

On December 7, 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. The next day, ...
04/09/2021

On December 7, 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. The next day, commanded by Lt. Gen. Masaharu Homma, Japanese forces of the Fourteenth Army launched another attack on the Philippines, ultimately overrunning the fortified city of Manila. The attack on Pearl Harbor was devised by Japan’s Imperial General Staff in order to neutralize the United States’ naval capabilities in the Philippines.

On December 8, 1941, Japanese forces were focused on neutralizing American aircraft and airfields situated near Manila, on the island of Luzon. By December 13, virtually all of the United States’ military aircraft were destroyed, thus forcing Lt. Gen. Douglas MacArthur to withdraw his forces to the Bataan peninsula. From mid-January to April 1942, remaining Filipino and American troops fought on the Peninsula with limited food, supplies and ammunition. On April 9, 1942, 123 days after the start of the Battle of Bataan, 64,000 Filipinos and 12,000 Americans, battered, beaten, and starved, became prisoners of Japan’s Imperial Army.

At the Battle of Bataan, the Philippine Gold Cross Medal was awarded to individuals within the Philippine Army for their actions of bravery, courage, and sacrifice. Those who are awarded such an honor contribute to the national narrative of the Filipino and American forces that were able to stall Japan’s advancement in the Philippines, thus allowing the United States to rally its forces at the battle of the Coral Sea and Midway.

Image Credit: Medal and Ribbon of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Gold Cross

ALT TEXT: Color image of an antique medal and ribbon object.

-E.L.

Happy National Former POW Recognition Day! Our Avenue of Flags will be on display at Andersonville National Cemetery thr...
04/09/2021

Happy National Former POW Recognition Day! Our Avenue of Flags will be on display at Andersonville National Cemetery through Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

Image Credit: ANDE/ NPS

Alt text: A color image of the Prisoner of War flag and several American flags in Andersonville National Cemetery.

-M.S.

One of the earliest documented American female prisoners of war was Union Army surgeon, Mary Edwards Walker. Captured by...
04/05/2021

One of the earliest documented American female prisoners of war was Union Army surgeon, Mary Edwards Walker. Captured by Confederates in April 1864, Dr. Walker was sent to Castle Thunder, a Confederate prison in Richmond established for political prisoners, spies, Unionists, and deserters. After four months in Castle Thunder, Mary and other Union doctors were released as part of a prisoner exchange for Confederate medical officers. Dr. Walker then joined the 52nd Ohio Infantry and went on to treat wounded soldiers during the Battle of Atlanta.

Throughout her life, Mary was an advocate for women’s rights. Earning her medical degree in 1855, she became the second woman to graduate from Syracuse Medical College. Throughout her life, Mary preferred to wear men’s clothing, claiming they were more comfortable and practical. She was arrested in 1870 for dressing like a man. Mary was also an advocate for women’s suffrage and tried to register to vote in 1871 but was denied. Mary ran for Congress in 1881 and 1890. Although she lost both times, she was able to testify in front of the U.S. House of Representatives about women’s suffrage.

For her efforts during the Civil War, Mary Edwards Walker was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Andrew Johnson in November 1865. She became the first, and only woman, to receive this award. In 1917, Walker’s medal and 917 others were rescinded after the government reviewed their eligibility. However, Mary refused to give the medal back, and wore it until she died in 1919.

Image Credit: Library of Congress

ALT TEXT: Black and white image of woman in period dress standing next to table with drapes in the background.

-T.S.

We send a special thanks to Robins Riders for helping us place our Avenue of Flags in order to commemorate National Form...
04/04/2021

We send a special thanks to Robins Riders for helping us place our Avenue of Flags in order to commemorate National Former POW Recognition Day on April 9th! Flags will be on display until Tuesday April 14, 2021.

Image Credit: ANDE/ NPS

Alt Text: A color image of several American flags at Andersonville National Cemetery. Many trees and headstones can be seen in the image.

-M.S.

By January 1945, Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich was starting to crumble as the Allies were narrowing into Berlin. As Russian...
04/02/2021

By January 1945, Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich was starting to crumble as the Allies were narrowing into Berlin. As Russian Soviet forces closed in on German POW compounds, also known as Stalag Lufts, 10,000 Allied Airmen were ordered to evacuate these camps and immediately head west. Beginning on February 6, during one of Germany’s worst winters, 10,000 Allied prisoners were forced to march 600 miles by foot at a grueling pace for 86 days. The men were fraught with dysentery, diphtheria, pneumonia, typhus, trench foot, and tuberculosis. Frostbite was another killer that caused many prisoners to lose their limbs, toes, and fingers.

“Some men drank from the ditches that others used as latrines,” recalled Maj. Leslie Caplan, one of the few doctors who endured the death march. “Dysentery made bowel movements frequent, bloody, and uncontrollable. Men were forced to sleep on ground covered with feces of those who had passed before them… Our sanitation approached medieval standards, and the inevitable result was disease, suffering and death.”

Marching through rural Germany, the prisoners often stole farm animals due to the scarcity of food. If caught, German guards would shoot prisoners on site. For shelter, marchers slept in barns but, due to the combination of animal and human feces, the stench would become unbearable, forcing some marchers to sleep outside.

By the end of the march, approximately 1,300 men perished during the Death March.

ALT TEXT: A black and white historic image of eight young men, wearing heavy winter jackets and military clothing, while posing for a photo around an old makeshift stove. A building can be seen to the rear.

Image Credit: United States Air Force

-E.L.

Born March 24, 1928, Fred Cherry was a dedicated U.S. Airforce veteran who served honorably in the Cold War, Korean War ...
03/29/2021

Born March 24, 1928, Fred Cherry was a dedicated U.S. Airforce veteran who served honorably in the Cold War, Korean War and Vietnam War. While Cherry endured a number of challenges throughout his time in service, none strained his mental capacity and tested his physical resiliency like that of his capture and imprisonment in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.

Cherry was captured on October 22, 1965 and recalls the torture he suffered throughout imprisonment. “The mind has a lot to do with how one endures pain. It’s the mind more than the hands, arms and nerves. Each time, it gets progressively less painful. The more times you get it, the less painful it becomes. I was taken to the hospital that very night of the Hanoi March and what they did to me was surgery on my shoulder without anesthesia. And they were standing there waiting for me to scream out. I was perspiring like big drops of rain rolling off my forehead, but I wouldn’t cry out. It hurt like hell, but screaming would only be satisfying them and not me. They got through it and I got through it. I did pass out, but I got through it without screaming out.”

After spending 2,671 days in captivity, then, Colonel Cherry was released on February 12, 1973 during Operation Homecoming. Upon his return home, he enrolled in the National War College in Washington D.C. and studied at the Defense Intelligence School. Cherry retired from the U.S. Airforce on September 1, 1981 and passed away on February 16, 2016.

Today, Andersonville National Historic Site is pleased to observe National Vietnam War Veterans Day and we pause for reflection to remember those who served. We also send our enduring gratitude to heroes like Major Fred Cherry who refused to succumb to his status as a prisoner of war.

Image Credit: Veteran Tributes

Alt text: A color image of a male in an U.S. Airforce uniform waving.

-M.S.

The story of Andersonville is so tragic that sometimes we forget that the soldiers here were just ordinary people. They ...
03/29/2021

The story of Andersonville is so tragic that sometimes we forget that the soldiers here were just ordinary people. They were often young men who told of their experiences in battle and military service as only a soldier can. Their diaries include frustrations about military rations and pay. They complained about sore feet and marching through the mud, sleeping in drafty tents, and bad weather. For one soldier, Eugen Forbes, his complaints extend to an officer in his regiment.

Before he was captured and sent to Andersonville, Forbes of the 4th New Jersey Infantry writes in his diary about an incident that occurred on September 16, 1862 at Crampton Gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains

“One of our Captains had to be carried from the field before we got in rifle range, from palpitations of the heart. He has shown the white feather on several occasions. I’ll bet he didn’t have it worse than I did before I got to the top of the first mountain, but I stuck to it, though I had to lean my back against a tree twice to fire my piece, before I got to the top. If I had given palpitation of the heart, as an excuse, I would have been called a coward, but I suppose it ain’t cowardice in a Captain—Oh, Moses!”

Image Credit: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Alt text: A black and white drawing of the Battle of Crampton Gap showing Union soldiers with U.S. flag charging uphill toward firing Confederate troops.

On this day in 1864, Captain Henry Wirz formally took command of the prison stockade at Andersonville. Henry Wirz was bo...
03/27/2021

On this day in 1864, Captain Henry Wirz formally took command of the prison stockade at Andersonville. Henry Wirz was born in 1822 in Switzerland. In 1849, he immigrated to the United States and attempted to go into business as a physician in New York City. Failing at this, he moved to Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Kentucky before ending up in Louisiana in 1857. There, he practiced homeopathic medicine while overseeing hundreds of enslaved African Americans at Cabin Teele, a 2,200-acre plantation.

At the outset of the Civil War, Wirz enlisted in the 4th Battalion of Louisiana Infantry. After Bull Run in July 1861, the unit was sent to Richmond, where Wirz was assigned to guard duty at Howard's Factory Prison. He immediately began to organize prisoners and developed a reputation for efficiency and callousness. By the fall of 1861, Wirz attracted the attention of General John Winder, who at that time oversaw the Richmond prison system. Throughout 1861 and 1862, Wirz would be assigned to the prison in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, as well as Libby Prison and Belle Isle in Richmond.

In 1863, after a furlough in Europe, Wirz returned to Richmond and reported to General Winder. Winder, having worked with Wirz before, assigned him to Camp Sumter Military Prison at Andersonville. Wirz bore a letter from General Winder giving command of the prison's interior to Wirz, whom he called, "an old prison officer, a very reliable man and capable of governing prisons."

Over the course of the prison’s existence and the trial that followed, Captain Henry Wirz would become one of the most controversial figures associated with the U.S. Civil War.

Image Credit: NPS/ ANDE

ALT TEXT: Black and white image of man in Civil war uniform standing next to a chair.

-T.S.

First Sergeant James Wiley fought at the Battle of Gettsyburg in July of 1863. On the 2nd day of the battle, he captured...
03/25/2021

First Sergeant James Wiley fought at the Battle of Gettsyburg in July of 1863. On the 2nd day of the battle, he captured the flag of the 48th Georgia Infantry Regiment. During the Civil War, capturing an enemy’s regiment flag was a major accomplishment and honor. Nearly a year later, in June of 1864, 1st Sgt. Wiley was captured by Confederate forces at Jerusalem Plank Road near Petersburg, Virginia. He arrived at Andersonville the next week.

Wiley’s health declined during his imprisonment at Andersonville due to poor nutrition and lack of sanitation. He was not among the healthier prisoners that were transferred in the Fall of 1864. In December of 1864, while 1st Sgt. Wiley was still imprisoned at Andersonville, Congress awarded him the Medal of Honor for the heroism he displayed during the Battle of Gettysburg. However, he never learned of this honor before his death on February 7, 1865 at Andersonville. He is buried in grave number 12,607. To date, he is one of two, Medal of Honor recipients buried at Andersonville National Cemetery.

In 1990, Congress passed a resolution establishing National Medal of Honor Day on March 25th. The Medal of Honor is the highest U.S. military decoration, awarded by Congress to a member of the armed forces for bravery in combat at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. On today, we remember heroes like 1st Sgt. James Wiley for his undaunted courage.

Image Credit: NPS Photo

ALT TEXT: A color image of a gravestone.

-M.S.

Dr. John Henry Gee was born in 1819 in Georgetown, South Carolina, but later moved to Quincy, Florida in 1827. At the ag...
03/24/2021

Dr. John Henry Gee was born in 1819 in Georgetown, South Carolina, but later moved to Quincy, Florida in 1827. At the age of 21, he received his MD from the Medical College of South Carolina and served as a military physician in both the Seminole and Mexican wars before volunteering to serve as military aid to Florida Governor, Madison S. Perry in 1861. After rising through the ranks, Major Gee was ordered to take command of the Salisbury Confederate Prison in August 1864. During his tenure, thousands of Union prisoners died of starvation and disease. In addition, many of them were shot after failed attempts to escape. Shortly after the war, Major Gee was arrested and charged with war crimes. He was then transferred to Raleigh, North Carolina and tried before a military commission.

In June 1866, the commission unanimously found Gee “not guilty,” taking notice of what it regarded as Gee’s weakness and blamed Confederate authorities for the crimes committed in Salisbury Prison. After his return home to Florida, Gee continued to practice medicine for the next 10 years. However, he was burned to death while attempting to get control of a fire in a warehouse set to flames. On August 13, 1876, the Savannah Morning News commented on Gee’s death, “Dr. Gee was one of the most prominent physicians of Florida, and a gentleman of large culture. His death will be deplored not only by friends and acquittances in Florida, but by thousands who were his associates in the late war.”

Alt Text: Portrait black and white image of a middle-aged gentleman with slicked hair and beard, wearing a tuxedo with a bowtie.

Image Credit: Library of Congress

-E. L.

Address

496 Cemetery Rd
Andersonville, GA
31711

Opening Hours

Monday 08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 08:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:00 - 17:00
Thursday 08:00 - 17:00
Friday 08:00 - 17:00
Saturday 08:00 - 17:00
Sunday 08:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(229) 924-0343

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----- Charles Wesley Gleason 1849–1864 (5th cousin 3x removed) [CWG is #3105 in J B White's "Genealogy of the descendants of Thomas Gleason of Watertown, Mass 1607-1909"] BIRTH 17 DEC 1849 Barnet, Caledonia, Vermont, USA DEATH 9 AUG 1864 Andersonville, Sumter, Georgia, USA ----- Military 4 Dec 1863 Enlisted as PRIVATE – Caledonia Vermont Military 18 Dec 1863 Mustered into “H” Co., Vermont 1st Heavy Artillery Military 23 Jun 1864 Captured at Petersburg Virginia, POW “The Battle of Weldon” railroad Military 9 Aug 1864 Andersonville Georgia – died of Dysentery as a Pow in Andersonville Prison GA Burial 9 Aug 1864 Andersonville Georgia - ANDERSONVILLE NATIONAL CEMETERY - SITE 8572 (14 years old) ----- I can just picture him being buried at Andersonville Prison, after seeing the photo by AJ Riddle posted today of the Prisoners burying the days dead. - I visited there in 28 Dec 2016 and took this photo of his gravestone.
What if I found that a grave of a Civil War soldier was mismarked and not the correct soldier. Would anyone be interest? Even if I could prove it 98% and knew who it really was?
New 3D experience showcases Gettysburg battlefield landmarks as you've never seen them.
I'm wondering when we can come to visit. What are the hours and is it completely open to the public?
How long will the wreaths be displayed?
Are you participating in Wreaths Across America Dec. 19? And what will the restrictions be? Thank you.
"March 26th [1865] About twelve a guard came for some dinner, said prisoners were passing. As soon as dinner was over all of us went to the road to see them. Found about a hundred there resting. All were from Andersonville and I never imagined such a set of poor miserable wretches. Who can describe all they have suffered and endured? No one, I am certain, nearly naked, unwashed and uncombed for months, insufficient food and of the worst quality, covered with vermin, wounded, frost-bitten, swollen and blistered feet. Is it to be wondered at that they care not whether they die or live. They have suffered till they have not a wish or a hope. What miseries does not the war entail. The guards were callous to their sufferings, cared not a bit whether they were able to march along. God grant they may sometime reach their homes, even though they may return to fight against us again." - Diary of Sarah Elizabeth Poates of Bolton, Mississippi, on viewing Andersonville Prisoners being marched to the Big Black River to be exchanged at Four Mile Bridge prison camp near Vicksburg. Diary is in the Asa Fitch Papers, J.M. Olin Library, Cornell University.
Any updates on the POW museum reopening?
Sadly, we don’t always know the depths of someone’s depression until it is too late. May I please get 2 friends or family members to copy and re-post? I am trying to demonstrate that someone is always listening. #SuicideAwareness Just two. Any two. Say DONE.
When do you anticipate the POW museum reopening?
I know the significance of leaving coins on military tombstones, but what about stones that also have marble on them?
The following letter was written by Pvt. Otto Kunze of the 82nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment (also called the 2nd Hecker Regiment). Private Kunze was a native of Karlsfeld, Prussia, and mustered into service on Sept. 26, 1862 at Camp Butler, Illinois. He was 18 years old at muster in and resided at Belleville, Illinois, prior to enlisting. The 82nd Illinois, a mostly German Regiment, was organized by Col. Friedrich Hecker. The 82nd served in the Eastern theater until late 1863, when it was transferred to the Army of the Cumberland. The letter was published in Chicago’s Illinois Staats-Zeitung on June 7, 1865, and translated into English by Joseph R. Reinhart. Report of Soldier Otto Kunze of the New Hecker Regiment About His Two Years as a Prisoner in the South The Suffering on Belle Island, in Andersonville, etc., etc. I was captured on July 1, 1863 during the Battle of Gettysburg. I had to remain lying without food in the rear of the Rebel army until July 4. When the Rebel army formed up to retreat on July 4th, I was sent to Richmond [Virginia]. I had to march to Stanton [Staunton?]; I arrived there on the 18th and on the 20th went to Richmond by railroad, arriving there on the 21st. I was placed in the Pemberton building, then taken to Belle Island that is accurately called Hell Island. Now bad times began! In the mornings our rations consisted of a little piece of bread (in the first two months white, then corn bread) and a morsel of beef or pork; and then in the evenings we received nothing more than bean or pea soup and a little bread. This soup was the sort that you considered good, if you got one bean out of two portions. Further, it was seasoned with bugs. We received barely enough food to stay alive. When I stood up I staggered like a drunk. When I slept I dreamt of food being in front of me. When I awakened however I found myself terribly deceived and had nothing but a hungry stomach. I suffered for six weeks from red dysentery and believed I would die, because a prisoner in Secessia can only have medical care if he is half dead. The torment of the cold came with the beginning of the winter. Many poor prisoners froze. Hunger and hypersensitivity to the cold killed many. The Rebels robbed us of our blankets when we were captured. That which had any value to me was taken and even the pictures of my dears. In January 1864 I received the clothing our government sent for us. We really needed it: a large coat, a blanket, a pair of pants, shoes and a cap. On February 17, 1864, I was sent to the to the “Pemberton Building” with a group of other prisoners. On February 18 we were sent away from Richmond without knowing our destination. We learned our destination on the 25th when we arrived 700 strong at Andersonville, Ga. On the journey several of us were hurt when the train derailed. The stockade was not yet finished, however, it was soon made sufficient to hold us. A number of bloodhounds were used there, and such beasts are as effective in the surveillance of prisoners in Rebeldom as a company of soldiers. After the stockade was completed prisoners were sent from all points to Andersonville and the place for prisoners inside the stockade was soon full. Because there were many bad persons among the prisoner—stealing, looting and murders became the order of the day. Of course, the New York scoundrels were so bad that a man with money in his pocket was no longer safe. This lasted until a company of “Regulators” was organized and armed themselves with clubs to arrest these mobs; however, much confusion emerged in the camp through this. We saw shoving and hitting left and right. Finally, with the help of Capt. Werths [Wirz], who had command over us, a large number of these mobs were collected and locked up outside of the stockade. A trial was held and six of them were found guilty of murder. They were sentenced to death. On the 11th of July, a gallows was erected inside of the stockade and in the presence of all the prisoners the six murderers were hanged. That led to calmness and order in the camp. The camp comprised about 25 acres among which were several acres of swampy ground. Inside the stockade and 20 feet from it was a fence made from 3-foot high poles with rails nailed on it. We named this fence the deadline because if a prisoner stepped over it he would be shot down. During the summer of 1864 no prisoner dared to cross the line or to lean over it with any part of his body. Many innocent men were shot down. Some men who were half crazy because of their mistreatment crossed over the line and were shot. Others had the same fate even though they did not cross the line. Take out 3 to 4 acres of mire and the 20 feet within the stockade around the camp’s dead line, and you can easily calculate how much of the 25 acres of the entire camp remained for the prisoners, who numbered approximately 35,000 in the hot months of July and August. A large number of us had no shelter from the sun’s heat, no protection from the chilly night dew. The food was scant and miserable. We ate it raw because there was nothing to cook with and no wood for a fire. Others who were sick could not enjoy such food and they could get nothing better. It consisted of raw cornmeal, in which the corncob and all were ground in it and a little pork. Sometimes we received a few black beans. A healthy person could barely live with such nourishment, much less a sick one. The sick in Andersonville received medical care only when they were half dead. The main illnesses were: the red dysentery and scurvy; although the latter, if one acts in time, can be easily cured; but we received none of the food to counter against it. Many, very many, died of starvation. Others entirely lost their courage and fell into a state of despondency or mental disturbance. I was luckier than many others. We made a shelter with blankets. It granted to us some degree protection against the sun’s heat, rain and night dew. I am not in a position to give an account of all the suffering at Andersonville. And could I depict it, no one would believe the dreadfulness. Only one who has experienced it could know. In September 1864, when Sherman appeared to be moving toward Macon, the Rebels considered it time to remove us from Andersonville. I was with the group that was sent to Savannah on 7th September, where we arrived the next day. We were somewhat better treated there and remained there for over a month. The change of places was good for most of us. On 11th of October we were sent back to Camp Lawton near Millen, 80 to 90 miles from Savannah. It now began to get cold, and a few who thought they would die if they remained prisoners over the winter entered the Rebel army. Some of our sick were sent into the Federal lines by Millen and I still hoped this good fortune would come to all of us. But it was not so! Sherman had begun his new campaign from Atlanta to Savannah. Therefore, on the 21st of November they took us from Millen to Savannah. And from there they transported us on the G[u]lf Railroad farther south and indeed to Blackshire, 90 miles from Savannah. We arrived there on the 24th of November and camped in the woods. On the 1st of December they brought us back to Savannah and it was said we were supposed to be exchanged. The truth was they were taking us to South Carolina. However, the “wild Yankees” (the name the Rebels used for armed Union soldiers) had cut off the route to South Carolina, so we had to return to Blackshire. On the 5 December they took us from there to the hundred-mile distant Thomasville where we arrived on the 6th. We camped in the woods. We had to leave Thomasville on the 19th in order to be transported to Andersonville. We had to march 56 miles until we reached another railroad. The Rebels exhibited their greatest cruelty on this march. We had to march through knee-deep mud and water that could have been easily avoided. Their cruelty did not allow them to treat us humanely—not once toward our sick. Apparently it was their aim to get rid of us without shooting us. On the 25 of December we entered Andersonville again. Yes, a sad Christmas for us who have been abandoned. I was now resigned to it. I tried to forget the world and everything that was important to me. So I lived until March when the news of an impending exchange breathed life into me. Finally, on the 5th of April 1865, we were sent away from Andersonville in order to be exchanged at Jacksonville, Florida. However, we had to halt in Albany to await orders. On the 11 of April we were sent back to Andersonville. On the 17th the Rebels hurried, out of anxiety over the “wild Yankees,” to take us away from Andersonville. The next day they took us to Macon, from there back to Albany. Then we had to march to Thomasville. We were put on a train there and sent to Florida, near the lines of the Federal troops. On the 28th of April we were sent out of the Rebel lines and on the 29th we entered the Union lines. It was my happiest day of my life. I was finally out of the hands of the cruelest barbarians and among the living again.