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Andersonville Prison Photos
Pictures Old and New of Andersonville Civil War Prison
In 2010, I visited Andersonville, Georgia to see the museum and national cemetery there honoring the Union prisoners who suffered and died in that place. My personal motive was to find out more about my great-great grandfather who was an Andersonville survivor.
The photos below include ones I took on that visit, plus vintage Andersonville photos from the Civil War and photos by others who visited Andersonville. Hopefully it will give you a mini-tour of this historic site if you are unable to visit it yourself.
(photo by Virginia Allain)
Photos Taken during the Civil War of Andersonville
Photo from the Library of Congress
The Library of Congress features some of it's photo collection on the Zazzle site. Andersonville Prison, GA 1864 by lc_civilwar.
Photo taken August 17, 1864.
Very few photos exist from the 1860s showing Andersonville Prison while it was filled with Union prisoners of war. This picture gives you a feeling for the crowded, unsanitary conditions of that time.
No shelter was provided, so the prisoners used bits of canvas, clothing and anything they could to create a place to get out of the broiling southern sun or the winter cold. Even though it was in Georgia, the winter months could be bitterly cold.
Imagine being out in the rain on a chill December night with the temperature around 40 degrees. Your tattered clothing would be soaking wet. If you had comrades, you could huddle together, trying to preserve some of your body heat.
Imagine 30,000 men crowded together on this site. Look up at the stockade & feel their despair.
Andersonville Photos - Taken by Virginia Allain
The photos I took on a sunny day at Andersonville make it hard to imagine the misery of thousands of starving and ill prisoners surrounded by filth, fighting to stay alive for just one more day, then one more day.— Virginia Allain
Have You Been to Andersonville?
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As You Walk around Andersonville, Read the Informative Plaques
Learn More about Andersonville
- Andersonville Timeline 1864
In reading many diaries and books on Andersonville, I've created this timeline. It will help me and others trying to understand their ancestor's experience in this Civil War prison.
Informative Signs Like This Explaine the Scene Before You
Read More about It - Andersonville: The Last Depot
When I read this, I was prepared for horrifying descriptions of the prison, but it's hard to brace yourself for all the details. This draws on many diaries and military records, so it shows the way the overcrowding and starvation developed due to mismanagement and war time disruptions to supplies and manpower.
The Nation Grieved
Nancy Hardin commented: "I've always found everything about the Civil War fascinating. So many died, the cemeteries are so quiet and sad. We fought each other, brother, father, uncle, nephew, as though we hated the other, and in truth, at that time we did. When it was all over and people came to their senses, the nation grieved and still does to this day."
Read the Sad Details of Andersonville Prison
This one won the Pulitzer Prize. I read it in college back in the 1960s and was appalled at the conditions. Little did I know that my ancestor, my great-great grandfather lived through the terrible happenings I read about in this book.
Background Information on Starvation at Andersonville
- Starvation at Andersonville Prison
Andersonville Prison in Georgia was notorious for the starvation suffered by Union soldiers there during the Civil War. Why did it happen and how did the prisoners survive the brutal conditions there?
- What Is Scorbutus?
It's an old-fashioned word that you might find describing an American Civil War soldier. Read more about this health problem that caused the deaths of many in years gone by.
Where Is Andersonville?
This historic site from the Civil War is not far from Americus, Georgia. When you visit the prison site, allow some time to visit Americus as well.
I've added Atlanta on the map so you can get oriented.
© 2011 Virginia Allain