A couple years back I got down to Macon Georgia on business and made a side trip to the country SW of Macon to Andersonville and the prison camp site south of town, which is now a federal museum. Took these pics while dodging fire ants with a disposable camera and scanned them, so the image quality isn't the greatest. The original piece of land is preserved and they have built two sections of reproduction of the stockade. You can stand on one of the corners and look to the corner so you can't see where the walls end, and pretend the stockade goes all around and you're inside the real camp, minus the unbearable stench and people.
At one point there were 30,000 men jammed into this little 20 something acre patch.
First pic is a scan of the brochure that included a contemporary drawing of the camp.
Next is the west entrance gate taken from inside the vestibule (double gates); could be called "Welcome to Hell on Earth".
Next: Same gate seen from inside the camp.
Next: Stockade section reproduced at the NW corner, with the "dead line" and replicas of the pathetic little shelters the men made with whatever they had.
Next: Same area from another angle.
Next: One of the more luxurious accomodations.
Next: "The Sinks".. the middle part of the camp with the creek going through, which was mostly a giant swamp of muddy poo. The plaque has one of the most fascinating candid Civil War photos I've ever seen; bunch of guys going for a dump, in 1864. The far slope on the right is the same spot shown in the plaque.
Next: In the NW corner are some huge trees, which must have been saplings in 1864. The hole with the protective fence around it (built in the 1880s) is the remnants of one of several wells dug trying to find for water in the SW corner. There are also markers in the ground indicating where there were escape tunnels in the same area.
Next: Cannon on the edge of the Confederate ramparts built adjacent to the camp, looking NE. This particular gun was for quelling disturbances in the camp as you can see. On the left is the gate section shown at the start, in the distance is the other NE corner section, and the far left with the monuments is where the well was.
Graves of David Gardiner and J.J. Jones. One of the prisoners had made a copy of the prisoner death stats as he kept them and came back after the war and identified as many graves as possible form the record he'd kept.
Same happened in union prison camps so don't try to blame the south. Also the union cut of the south’s supply so in some cases it came down to feed your people or the prisoners. I am not saying its right but it has to be considered.
OW!! It is like Aushwitz but without gas chambers! How many people were kept in that horrible place? And how many died?
I believe the dead were about 13000 over a little more than a year. What happened is that there was a prisoner exchange system in place for the first half of the war, and then it stopped and both sides had to start warehousing prisoners, when nothing had really been done to plan for it. Lots of southern prisoners died in Union prisons (around 11,000) but the ratio on the Confederate side was a fair bit worse (around 19000) and Andersonville was worst of all. Andersonville was in the middle of nowhere and the Confederacy was about broke by this time and couldn't provide enough food etc and the prisoners flooded in a lot faster than expected.
It wasn't a conscious attempt to kill off Union prisoners, it was more a case of incompetence and neglect by the Confederate government, and some cruelty on the part of the local kids recruited as guards. In the Union prisons the conditions were little better in that the prisoners weren't just put in an open field and were fed better, but the death rates were still high due to overcrowding and poor sanitation.
At Andersonville there was almost no sanitation at all, if you got so much as a scratch on your arm, that was it... it went septic and eventually you died.
The site has a POW museum covering the World Wars, Korea and Vietnam as well.