Imagine yourself as a prisoner of war (POW) struggling to survive in a disease-ridden prison, sometimes in aching isolation, sometimes in filthy, overcrowded conditions. Imagine the day-to-day uncertainty when all you can think about is food, water, freedom, and death.
“No one can imagine the agony of continued hunger unless he has experienced it. I have felt it, witnessed it, yet I cannot find the language to adequately describe it” ~ POW George Tibbles, 4th Iowa Infantry
Established in 1970, Andersonville National Historic Site has three main features: The National Prisoner of War Museum, which also serves as a visitor center; the Prison Site; and Andersonville National Cemetery.
Andersonville National Cemetery, established July 26, 1865, is a permanent resting place of honor for deceased veterans. The first interments, in February 1864, were soldiers who died in the prison (13,000). By 1868 over 800 more, totaling 13,800, interments were added that died in hospitals, other prison camps, and on battle fields of central and southwest Georgia. 500 of these graves are marked “unknown US soldier”. Today the cemetery contains over 19,000 interments.
The camp was covered with vermin all over. You could not sit down anywhere. You might go and pick the lice all off of you, and sit down for a half a moment and get up and you would be covered with them. In between these two hills it was very swampy, all black mud, and where the filth was wmptied it was all alive; there was a regular buzz there all the time, and it was covered with large white maggots.” ~ Sgt. Samuel Corthell Co. C, 4th Massachusetts Calvary