Andersonville

Camp Sumter, Anderson, Georgia

Background

The Camp Sumter military prison at Andersonville, Georgia was one of the largest Confederate military prisons during the Civil War. During the 14 months the prison existed, more than 45,000 Union soldiers were confined here. Of these, almost 13,000 died here

Treatment

At first, a decent meal was handed out, but as time went on, the food was slowly taken away until they received nothing at all. A stream flowed through Andersonville, but was soon polluted. The hospital were also in very poor condition. Soldiers who came to the camp already sick, or became ill at the camp had a low chance of surviving because the condition of the hospital. The camp also lacked an internal police force that could prevent the murders, stealing, and fights that went on.

Thomas Gossett

  • “some men crossed the dead line on purpose to be killed and thus put an end to their sufferings”
  • "Another pass time was whitteling. Give a Yankee a jack knife and he can make almost anything. The rebels found out the most expert whittlers and furnished them materials to work upon and thus many prisoners earned extra rations in this way."
  • "The common shelter was constructed with blankets, old shirts, half shelters tents, etc., some burrowed into the ground, while others had no shelter at all."
  • "Early in the morning seen a boy about to die. The little fellow called for his mother."
  • "On the 7th, 8th, and 9th the weather was so awfully hot that it really appeared as if the heat would kill us all; those were the most terrible day in the history of our prison. On the 9th 175 prisoners died, and the mortality in the three days was nearly 500."