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

Dorence Atwater, member of the 2nd New York Cavalry, was captured by Confederate forces near Hagerstown, Maryland in Jul...
01/04/2021

Dorence Atwater, member of the 2nd New York Cavalry, was captured by Confederate forces near Hagerstown, Maryland in July 1863. He was transported to Richmond, Virginia where he was held prisoner at Belle Isle for more than 7 months. In January 1864, Atwater accepted parole to work for the Confederate Army and was able to assist in accounting for prisoner supplies sent by the Union Army.

In late February 1864, Atwater was transferred from Richmond to Andersonville. While there, Atwater was paroled and sent to work as a clerk in the office of Surgeon J.J. White. His task was to “keep the daily record of deaths of all Federal Prisoners of War.” Based on the horrors he witnessed at the prison camp, Atwater kept a secret copy of his register where he was able to successfully smuggle it across Union lines in March 1865.

After the war, Atwater’s desire to publish the list for families to reconnect with those who perished at Andersonville was denied by the War Department. By the summer of 1865, Atwater met with Clara Barton and together, they accompanied the U.S. Quartermaster expedition to Andersonville in order to document the site and its horrors. Atwater and Barton were able to identify and mark the graves of the Union dead in Andersonville National Cemetery. In 1866, Atwater’s register was published, enabling families to connect with their loved ones. Thanks to his work, over 95% of the graves were identified.

Alt text: Black and white portrait image of a younger gentlemen with slicked hair, wearing a suit.

Image Credit: NPS

-E.L.

The Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln, took effect on January 1, 1863. This proclamation de...
01/01/2021

The Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln, took effect on January 1, 1863. This proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free." It also announced the acceptance of African American men into the United States Army and Navy.

As more and more African Americans joined the Union Army, the Dix-Hill Cartel collapsed. This cartel was an agreement of even exchange of prisoners. The Confederacy refused to exchange African American soldiers, and in response, the Union ended all prisoner exchanges.

With the breakdown of prisoner exchanges, already established Confederate prisons quickly became overcrowded. General John Winder, commander of Confederate military prisons east of the Mississippi River, recognized the need for a new prison. He sent his son, Sidney Winder, to South Georgia and Alabama to find a suitable site.

Sidney Winder chose Andersonville because of its remote location, proximity to the railroad, and the availability of resources. Stockade Branch appeared to be a good source of water. The land was covered in pine forests and had several lumber mills in operation. This area was known as the Deep South’s “breadbasket,” with numerous plantations and farms untouched by the war. Cattle would also be readily available from Florida.

Camp Sumter Military Prison was established in January 1864 in Andersonville, Georgia. It would become the deadliest ground of the Civil War.

Alt Text: A color photo copy of the Emancipation Proclamation.

-T.S.

Among the list of Frequently Asked Questions here at the park is, “What do the coins on the headstones mean?” These coin...
12/31/2020

Among the list of Frequently Asked Questions here at the park is, “What do the coins on the headstones mean?” These coins, ranging from pennies to quarters, are left by visitors paying their respects to ancestors or loved ones, and even to complete strangers. So, what do these coins represent and why are they left behind?

Leaving coins for soldiers who have passed on can be traced back to ancient Greek mythology when payment was required to ensure the deceased would be able to cross the river Styx into the afterlife. However, coins left for those who have perished has a whole new meaning today. It is a sign of honor and remembrance of those who have gone before us, indicating that the deceased has not been forgotten.

However, there is deeper meaning behind each individual coin left on a soldier’s headstone. A penny left behind simply means that a person has visited; that person may or may not have personally known the individual they left the coin for. A nickel indicates the person who left it behind trained in boot camp with the soldier, and a dime signifies that the person who left it served with the soldier in some capacity. A quarter, the most heart-rending coin, denotes the person who left it was present when the soldier died.

No matter which coin is left, the purpose for placing them is to signal to the soldier’s family that a visitor stopped by. As you stroll through Andersonville National Cemetery, or other cemeteries, allow the many coins to tell you a story about the individual soldier and their relationship with the ones they left behind.

Alt Text: Color photo of a headstone with a penny on top.

Image Credit: NPS

-P.J.

Samuel Melvin wrote in his diary on New Year’s Eve from Fort Craig, VA 1863:“Thursday December 31, 1863 The Old Year is ...
12/31/2020

Samuel Melvin wrote in his diary on New Year’s Eve from Fort Craig, VA 1863:

“Thursday December 31, 1863 The Old Year is Dying!

Today is the end of another year. The trials and troubles of another year are over, and we soon emerge on another time. With what emotions and impressions does the old year leave us! Here is a fit time to take a retrospective view of the old year and see if we are living as we should, and to decide how to improve our time, and how to better live in the future…

Tonight, I must close this book, which I bought in Waltham in 1859. I have not put many things down, but next year I shall be very punctilious and note [everything] in my new diary, which was a Christmas present from Dow. It is a good idea…Perhaps in some future day, after I shall have passed to the spirit life, some one may take as much in looking over this. Who can tell? But if I shall pass away ere another year, ‘t is all for the best. With this little remark I close my diary of 1863, leaving it to the fate of time.”

Samuel Melvin would not live another year. He was captured at Spotsylvania Courthouse on May 19, 1864, while helping a wounded comrade. He arrived at Andersonville on June 3 and died on September 15. Samuel is buried in grave 9735 here at Andersonville National Cemetery.

https://www.facebook.com/AndersonvilleNPS/videos/704635682924485

Alt text: A black and white portrait image of a young Samuel Melvin, in military uniform.

Image credit: www.findagrave.com

-T.S.

Photos from Andersonville National Historic Site's post
12/27/2020

Photos from Andersonville National Historic Site's post

Morgan J. Umsted, Company A, 13th Iowa, wrote this letter to his mother on October 23, 1864. Umsted was captured July 22...
12/27/2020

Morgan J. Umsted, Company A, 13th Iowa, wrote this letter to his mother on October 23, 1864. Umsted was captured July 22, 1864 during the battle of Atlanta and was a prisoner in Andersonville, Savannah, and Thomasville.
“Dear Mother,
With regret I write you that I am a prisoner, probably a Prisoner of War. The particulars of my capture I have not space to tell at present…I mourn the loss of my brother as he was all to me a brother could be. I know with what keen pain your feelings is and will mourn with you although miles away from you. The officers commanding the Prison Camp here appear like humane men, much more than our previous Camp Commanders.
All at present,
Your son,
M.J. Umsted
If you receive this please see Miss Lidi Burge and tell her that her brother Wm Burge is well. I was captured on the 22nd of July, 1864”.

Morgan J. Umsted survived his captivity and was exchanged on April 1, 1865. He went back to Iowa where he married Miss Allie Dixon. The couple had eleven children. Umsted passed away on June 18, 1913 at age 71 and is buried in Dayton Cemetery in Webster County Iowa.

Alt text: A color photo of square gravestone with star on top. Text on the left of the stone reads, “Mother Allie J. 1847-1939” and the right reads, “Father Morgan J. 1842-1913.”

Image Credit: Find a Grave National Cemetery Database (Linda Linn)

-T.S.

Prisoners of war react differently to being held captive on Christmas Day. Some barely acknowledge the holiday and other...
12/25/2020

Prisoners of war react differently to being held captive on Christmas Day. Some barely acknowledge the holiday and others cannot help but remain focused on what they are missing at home.

Andersonville prisoner, Richard Williams, Co. I, 5th Indiana Cavalry mentions the day in passing. He writes in his diary on Christmas Day, 1864, “Sunday, Christmas, cold and rainy, on duty, camp numbers off, our dinner consists of corn cakes and sweet potatoes.”

For George Marion Shearer of Co. E, 17th Iowa, who arrived at Andersonville on Christmas Day 1864, the day was particularly downcast. He writes, “Sumpter Prison near Andersonville, GA. A gloomy Christmas for us. Rainy and cold and no shelter.”

While imprisoned at Belle Island, Virginia in 1863, John Ransom, 9th Michigan Cavalry, reflects on the changes in his life and thinks about home. He says, “December 25, 1863. “—and Christmas. —One year ago to-day first went into camp at Coldwater, little dreaming what changes a year would bring around…Lay awake long before daylight listening to the bells. As they rang out Christmas good morning, I imagined they were in Jackson, Michigan, my old home, and from the spires of the old Presbyterian and Episcopal churches. Little do they think as they are saying their Merry Christmases and enjoying themselves so much, of the hunger and starving here. But there are better days coming.”

Alt Text: A color image of holiday wreaths placed on graves in Andersonville National Cemetery.

Image Credit: Hugh Peacock

-T.S.

On July 22, 1862, the Dix-Hill Cartel was signed. It governed the future exchange of prisoners between Union and Confede...
12/24/2020

On July 22, 1862, the Dix-Hill Cartel was signed. It governed the future exchange of prisoners between Union and Confederate forces. It stipulated that all prisoners would be exchanged either man for man or according to a system of rank equivalencies.

At first, the American Civil War continued the established tradition of paroles in the field. This left commanders in the field the responsibility to exchange and parole their prisoners on an informal basis for humanitarian reasons. The parole system was a failure, as paroled soldiers often broke the conditions of the parole and returned to their units as quickly as possible.

Based in large part, the cartel used the War of 1812 as an example to follow. Recalling the successful cartel established between the United States and Britain during the War of 1812, efforts began early in 1862 to formalize an agreement between the two parties. Major General John E. Wool, the commander of Fort Monroe represented the Union and General Howell Cobb and served as the Confederate negotiator. The two sides met again in June of 1862, where Union Major General John A. Dix and Confederate Major General D. H. Hill met at Haxall's Landing on the James River in Virginia. After several weeks of discussion, the formal cartel was signed.

The Dix - Hill cartel system, would function for less than one year. In the summer of 1863 regular exchanges ceased and the cartel system broke down over the issue of how to treat captured African American soldiers.

Alt Text: Two black and white photos side by side. The one on the left is Major General D. H. Hill, he is wearing the uniform of a Confederate officer. He is young looking with facial hair. The one on the right, is Union Major General John A. Dix. He is wearing a Union uniform and is an older looking gentleman and clean shaven.

Photo Credit: The Civil War Months

-P.J.

In December 1941, the Japanese military launched an invasion on the Philippines just hours after their attack on Pearl H...
12/21/2020

In December 1941, the Japanese military launched an invasion on the Philippines just hours after their attack on Pearl Harbor. This invasion resulted in the imprisonment of thousands of American civilians living in the Philippines. In downtown Manila, Santo Tomas University was converted to an internment camp that held more than 4,000 American civilians. Among the civilians was Marie Adams, a Red Cross worker, who was held there from May 1942 until the camp’s liberation in February 1945. During her captivity, Adams worked tirelessly in the compound’s hospital, adapting to the increasing medical needs of the prison population, meanwhile suffering from her own personal physical decline.

In a report from June 7, 1945, Adams details the major decline in the prison’s living conditions in February 1944 when the camp’s administration shifted from Japanese civilian authority to Japanese military authority. Per her account, she chronicles the starvation, misery and suffering of the internees. In the final pages of this report, Adams concludes that, “had the internees not been rescued in early February 1945, they would have died within 3 to 4 weeks.” Adams also notes that, “[she] would have been dead within 4 to 5 days.” At the time of the camp’s liberation, she weighed 95 pounds.

After the war, Adams was awarded the Bronze Star Medal “for meritorious achievement while in the hands of the enemy in caring for the sick and wounded.”

Alt text: A smaller black and white historic photo located to the lower left corner of a larger black and white photo, which features an older woman with glasses dressed in a red cross uniform and badge located on her left sleeve and on her cap. The larger overall historic image to the right has two older women: the woman on the left is the same woman that is depicted in the smaller left photo, but is wearing a button up shirt holding a pencil. The woman beside her is wearing a floral blouse. Both women are looking at documents.

-E.L.

We are so proud of how hard our team worked yesterday to ensure that Wreaths Across America was a success! Thank you all...
12/20/2020

We are so proud of how hard our team worked yesterday to ensure that Wreaths Across America was a success! Thank you all for your hard-work!

Andersonville National Historic Site's cover photo
12/20/2020

Andersonville National Historic Site's cover photo

12/19/2020
Bagpipe tribute in Andersonville National Cemetery

Retired US Marine Corps veteran Dan Gillan plays the bagpipes to honor those buried in Andersonville National Cemetery. This is part of our annual Wreaths Across America event, during which we place wreaths on graves in our national cemetery. Thanks to Bennett international, American Ex-Prisoners of War, Friends of Andersonville, the Civil Air Patrol, and our other wonderful partners for their support of this wonderful tribute to our nation's fallen military!

12/19/2020
Bagpipes tribute in Andersonville National Cemetery

Retired US Marine Corps veteran Dan Gillan plays the bagpipes to honor those buried in Andersonville National Cemetery. This is part of our annual Wreaths Across America event, during which we place wreaths on graves in our national cemetery. Thanks to Bennett international, American Ex-Prisoners of War, Friends of Andersonville, the Civil Air Patrol, and our other wonderful partners for their support of this wonderful tribute to our nation's fallen military!

12/18/2020
Wreaths Across America 2020 Caravan Arrival

The caravan of tractor trailers with patriotic wrapping and police escort arrives at Andersonville National Historic Site. They are bringing thousands of wreaths that will be placed on veterans' graves in Andersonville National Cemetery tomorrow as we participate in Wreaths Across America! Thanks to Bennett international, American Ex-Prisoners of War, Friends of Andersonville, the Civil Air Patrol, and our other wonderful partners for their support!

12/18/2020
Preparing for Wreaths Across America!

Park staff, Bennett International, Friends of Andersonville, and other volunteers unload thousands of wreaths in preparation for tomorrow's Wreaths Across America!

On August 5, 1964, Lieutenant j. g. (LTJG) Everett “Alvie” Alvarez, Jr.’s life would change forever. Alvarez was the fir...
12/18/2020

On August 5, 1964, Lieutenant j. g. (LTJG) Everett “Alvie” Alvarez, Jr.’s life would change forever. Alvarez was the first U.S. pilot to be shot down and detained during the Vietnam War. He spent the next eight and a half years in captivity, making him the second longest-held U.S. POW, after U.S. Army Colonel Floyd James Thompson. Alvarez was held by the North Vietnamese at the Hỏa Lò Prison, better known as the "Hanoi Hilton."

During Operation Pierce Arrow, LTJG. Alvarez's A-4 Skyhawk was shot down after making a second successful run on torpedo boats tied to the docks in Hon Gai Harbor. As he turned his aircraft for home (USS Constellation), the plane was hit by flak and Alvarez was forced to bail out. Landing in the Gulf of Tonkin, fisherman would be the first to come across him floating in the water. A torpedo boat came by a few minutes later and took him from the fisherman. For the next several days; Alvarez was moved around and questioned daily as to who he was and what was he doing. On August 11, 1964 he arrived in Hanoi. He would spend the next fifteen months alone.

Over the next several years, Alvarez and his fellow POWs would be starved, beaten, tortured and made to walk a gauntlet of angry citizens while put on parade in Hanoi. The lasting effects of these beatings still give him trouble to this day. Finally, he was released on February 12, 1973 as part of the first group of American POWs repatriated under Operation Homecoming.

Photo: PBS

Alt Text: Side by side photo of Everett Alvarez, one color the other black and white. The left image is an older Alvarez in a blue-collar shirt and a tan blazer jacket, while the right is a younger Alvarez in his Naval uniform.

-P.J.

The 1996 movie, “Andersonville”, contains an exciting escape scene. In the dark of night, one by one, the prisoners emer...
12/15/2020

The 1996 movie, “Andersonville”, contains an exciting escape scene. In the dark of night, one by one, the prisoners emerge out of their tunnel. Some are immediately attacked by dogs and are recaptured, while others run through the night only to be caught within sight of the river and safety. Although the idea of tunneling is frequently described in postwar accounts as suspenseful or exciting, digging out of Andersonville was, in reality, a very ineffective form of escape.

Any prisoner attempting to escape through tunnels had to overcome a variety of obstacles. Prisoners that desired to gain favor with guards and or receive an extra ration, sometimes desperately acted as tunnel traitors, turncoats or informants for the Confederacy. Prisoners risked discovery when gathering in groups or discharging excess dirt. Confederate guards frequently probed for tunnels and tunnels were likely to collapse. Although never completed, two additional outer stockade walls were added by the Confederacy to prevent escapes. Plantation dogs were also used effectively at Andersonville to track down escaped prisoners.

To many people, the idea of prisoners dramatically escaping through a tunnel in the middle of the night creates a sense of excitement and adventure. However, at Andersonville, the 32 successful escapes were made while prisoners were already outside the stockade walls. No prisoner escaped Andersonville through a tunnel.
Image Description: Drawing from Robert Know Sneden’s diary titled “Liberty.”

Alt text: Color drawing of prisoner in blue clothing emerging from hole in the ground.

Image Credit: Robert Knox Sneden diary, 1861–1865 (Mss5:1 Sn237:1), Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Va

-T.S.

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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Comments

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.