The Horrors of Andersonville: Life and Death Inside a Civil War Prison
The Confederate prison known as Andersonville existed for only the last fourteen months of the Civil War - but its well-documented legacy of horror has lived on in the diaries of its prisoners and the transcripts of the trial of its commandant.
The diaries describe appalling conditions in which vermin-infested men were crowded into an open stockade with a single befouled stream as their water source. Food was scarce and medical supplies virtually nonexistent. The bodies of those who did not survive the night had to be cleared away each morning.
Designed to house 10,000 Yankee prisoners, Andersonville held 32,000 during August 1864. Nearly a third of the 45,000 prisoners who passed through the camp perished. Exposure, starvation, and disease were the main causes, but excessively harsh penal practices and even violence among themselves contributed to the unprecedented death rate. At the end of the war, outraged Northerners demanded retribution for such travesties, and they...
Suffering from severe leg wounds. He made his way on crutches to the prison hospital, where a Union soldier, working as a hospital steward, began to bind his leg. Boyle was in full uniform, and so he was totally recognizable as the commander of the First North Carolina Volunteers. Upon seeing the treatment the officer was receiving, a doctor approached him. He ordered the steward to stop. “Send him out.” he ordered. Boyle looked hard at him, but he did not move. The hospital steward began again.
Of a general just might bring the relief the camp desperately needed. The general endorsed the requisitions “in the strongest terms possible, hoping to accomplish some good.” The train whistle sounded. Wirz departed with his documents. 124 · The Horrors of Andersonville The Horrors of Andersonville PART 1I: The Court-Martial MAY 1865 TO NOVEMBER 1865 Macon Ga May 17th 1865 General I have the honor to report that I have arrested Capt H. Wirz C. S. A.[Confederate States of America} notorious.
Emergency. At two that afternoon, Jones reported that the excitement in the city pervaded the churches. President Davis was attending services at Saint Paul’s Church when he received a telegram from General Lee. No one within the church at the time knew the content of that telegram, but the president left immediately upon reading it. Jones would later learn that Lee had sent word to the president that Petersburg had fallen and he was to evacuate Richmond by nightfall. Lee’s troops were in.
An article about the Andersonville prison camp O n a morning in 1902, a train pulled into Andersonville. An elderly man stepped from the train onto the platform and looked around. Not much had changed in thirty-eight years. The surrounding countryside was still green with tall pines. The same wooden building, the station depot, slumped alongside the railbed. A boy of about ten or eleven approached the man. Was he looking for a guide? He knew everything there was to tell about Andersonville, he.
BELLE ISLE · 17 to block the winter winds off the river. Each day Dow gazed through the window of his cell. He could see the boats on the canal below. Aboard those vessels, the general knew, were tins of coffee, tea, sugar, salted beef and ham, molasses, and jelly preserves. The Confederate War Department did not have large quantities of food for its own soldiers— much less for its prisoners of war. So charities and families of Union prisoners shipped food to Richmond to feed the hunBefore.