Andersonville Prison

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Andersonville Prison, Library of Congress

The Prison, formally named Camp Sumter, was better known as Andersonville and was located in a remote section of southeastern Georgia. Andersonville received the first prisoners in February of 1864 and operated through May 1865. During that time period, 45,000 Union soldiers were imprisoned there and approximately 13,000 died from disease, malnutrition, exposure, inadequate sanitation, and overcrowding. Although the prison was designed to hold 10,000 prisoners, there were as many as 32,000 in August 1864. Andersonville became synonymous with the atrocities which soldiers on both sides experienced as prisoners of war.

Confederates were handicapped by the deteriorating economic conditions in the South and could not adequately supply food and other materials to the prisoners. The prison exchange system had broken down so prisoners were held for much longer periods of time than earlier in the Civil War.

Shelters known as “shebangs” were built by prisoners out of scrap materials they found, bought, or brought into Andersonville with them. Holes were dug into the clay hillside for shelter, but many had no protection at all from the harsh Georgia climate and just scraps of rags for clothing.

In September of 1864, as Union forces moved through Georgia, the majority of prisoners were moved to other prison camps- including the Florence Stockade in Florence, South Carolina. Five Mansfield soldiers were imprisoned at Andersonville. Soldiers who had been at both Andersonville and Florence reported that Florence was even worse than Andersonville. Daniel Travis Jr. (also known as Daniel Jones Jr.) died at the Florence Stockade after his transfer from Andersonville

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