By Catherine Gourley

The accomplice felony often called Andersonville existed for less than the final fourteen months of the Civil warfare - yet its well-documented legacy of horror has lived on within the diaries of its prisoners and the transcripts of the trial of its commandant.

The diaries describe appalling stipulations within which vermin-infested males have been crowded into an open stockade with a unmarried befouled circulate as their water resource. meals was once scarce and scientific offers nearly nonexistent. The our bodies of these who didn't live on the evening needed to be cleared away every one morning.

Designed to deal with 10,000 Yankee prisoners, Andersonville held 32,000 in the course of August 1864. approximately a 3rd of the 45,000 prisoners who gone through the camp perished. publicity, hunger, and ailment have been the most explanations, yet excessively harsh penal practices or even violence between themselves contributed to the exceptional dying price. on the finish of the struggle, outraged Northerners demanded retribution for such travesties, and they...

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6 m) from the stockade walls and encircled the entire pen. The guards threatened to shoot—and began to do so—anyone who ventured under or beyond the rail. Even extending a hand across the deadline, reaching for a fallen bit of food, could mean a bullet in the head. Many prisoners believed Wirz had promised each guard a furlough of thirty days if he shot and killed a Yankee prisoner. A Union prisoner is shot by a guard for reaching across the deadline. The prisoners in line behind him hold crude containers to collect water for which they were so desperate.

In February 1864, as boxcars of bluecoats rolled toward Anderson Station, Wirz once again reported for duty to General Winder. The general assigned Wirz to Andersonville, where he reported to Persons. Wirz arrived at Andersonville about March 25, 1864. Wirz’s job was to enforce prisoner discipline inside the pen and to ensure that no one escaped. He did not have command over the military camp or the soldiers outside the pen. And although he was not responsible for securing or distributing food, he could withhold rations as punishment.

The guards ushered the new prisoners forward. “Our hearts sickened as we first looked upon the misery before our eyes,” Mann would later write. To Mann, the prisoners seemed half human, half ghost. The human ghosts crowded around the newcomers. They clamored for news—news of the war, of home, and of exchange. Always there was the hope of exchange. ” they warned. Warren Lee Goss of Maine arrived at Andersonville on May 1, 1864. The rain was falling hard and cold that day. He was miserable from days in the bumping, rocking boxcars.

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