Tag: Andersonville

Andersonville Prison

Andersonville Prison

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

Henry Edwin “Ed” Hall

Henry Edwin “Ed” Hall

Henry E. Hall, 1922

Henry Edwin Hall was a resident of Mansfield on September 22, 1863, when he enlisted as a Private in Co. F of the 6th Regiment Connecticut Volunteer Infantry; he was captured May 16, 1864 at Drewry’s Bluff, Virginia. He was imprisoned at Andersonville, paroled February 22, 1865 and mustered out August 21, 1865.

He was born December 25, 1841 in Mansfield to Henry C. and Orilla (Simonds) Hall. After the Civil War he returned to Mansfield and was a farmer. Henry E. Hall married Annette F. Dodd, daughter of Mansfield Civil War soldier Enoch Dodd between 1870 and 1880. Children included: Burton H. Dodd, born about September, 1882 and Charles G. Dodd, born about January 1889. Annette F. (Dodd) Hall died on June 15, 1890. Henry Hall married second, Ida M. ______ about 1904.

On March 1, 1885, he applied for an invalid pension, No.642,986 that was granted under certificate No. 415,435. His widow applied for a pension on December 21, 1929.

Henry Edwin Hall died on December 6, 1929 and is buried at the New Mansfield Center Cemetery in Mansfield.

The Hall Letters

Henry Hall leaves an impactful perspective that many soldiers may lack: he was captured and placed as a POW at the infamous Andersonville Prison.

“It has been my misfortune to be taken a prisoner by our enemy’s Calvary on the 16th of May on the Railroad between Chester Station and Petersburg”

Petersburg VA. May 24th, 1864. Hall to his parents.

Hall’s letters to his family, as well as a continued letter of Hall’s to his wife by John Hunter, speaks of Hall’s military journey. Describing his experience before imprisonment, imprisonment itself, and his life once he’s released, Hall’s letters give a timeline over the 2 years he served under the 6th regiment.

“I have no doubt he is taken prisoner”

John Hunter to Henry Hall’s Mother, May 23rd, 1864, Original unfinished letter 5/11/1864

More Resources

The Mansfield Historical Society has letters either to/from/about Hall ranging from 1863 to 1865. All other transcripts and letter scans can be found under Hall Letters.

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