Andersonville National Historic Site

Andersonville16Tucked away just east of Montezuma, Georgia, the Andersonville National Historic Site is one of the most infamous Civil War prison sites in the country. In use for only 14 months, the grounds stand as one of the more horrific yet fascinating points in Civil War history. Originally constructed to hold 6,000 Union prisoners, the camp’s numbers quickly grew to an astonishing 45,000 people. Living conditions quickly deteriorated due to the sheer number of humans packed into the 26 and a half acre area of land. The guards were primarily the very young or very old soldiers not fit for the front, and, overwhelmed as they were by the ever expanding camp, tended to take a hard line in regards to discipline. In fact, the story goes that the guards designated a ten foot buffer zone between the camp and the outer wall, and any man caught in that area was shot on the spot. In a move that is poetic in its simplicity, the prisoners and guards named the point prior to the buffer zone the “deadline.” By the end of the 14 months, over 13,000 prisoners had died. Adjacent to the prison site is the Andersonville National Cemetery that houses not only the remains of the soldiers, but monuments from the many states that the men were from. [Source]

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