|The National Park Service has marked with stakes the wartime location of the infamous |
Andersonville deadline. (CLICK ON ALL IMAGES TO ENLARGE.)
|Andersonville diary of Samuel J. Gibson of the 103rd Pennsylvania.|
(Read it on Library of Congress site.)
" ... there never was such misery known since the world stood as there is on the streets in this den of Hell. There is no tounge or Pen that can discribe the situation of the sick Wounded & Rotten men in hear," he wrote on Aug. 4, 1864, while a POW at Andersonville. "God help the Prisoner for their life is a horable one especially those confined in hear."
Coupled with photos (and a video) I shot recently at Andersonville, here are the words of Union survivors culled from diaries they kept there. The POW camp opened in February 1864 and closed in April 1865. (Click on link for diary source of each quote.)
|A view of terrain POWs saw when they entered camp.|
-- Warren. L. Goss, 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery
|Water from Sweetwater Creek was used by POWs for bathing, washing clothes and sometimes for drinking.|
A source of disease, the water was often deadly to drink. Today, the NPS warns about other dangers.
-- Samuel J. Gibson, 103rd Pennsylvania
|A branch of Sweetwater Creek at the 26.5-acre prison site.|
-- Michael Dougherty, 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry
“In the center of the whole was a swamp, occupying about three or four acres of the narrowed limits, and a part of this marshy place had been used by the prisoners as a sink, and excrement covered the ground, the scent arising from which was suffocating. (Watch video above.) The ground allotted to our ninety was near the edge of this plague-spot, and how we were to live through the warm summer weather in the midst of such fearful surroundings, was more than we cared to think of just then.”
-- Robert Kellogg, 16th Connecticut
|If a prisoner crossed the deadline -- a low rail fence used to keep POWs away from the stockade walls -- |
he could get shot by a guard.
-- Albert Harry Shatzel, 1st Vermont Cavalry
|Prisoners dug wells and escape tunnels in the camp. Is this the remains of one?|
-- George Hitchcock, 21st Massachusetts
|Site of the Andersonville hospital, a short distance outside the prison stockade.|
-- John L. Ransom, 9th Michigan Cavalry
"This is the first Sabbath I ever spent in a Hospital. It has been very quiet but no attention has been paid to the sacredness of the day at all. I would so like to hear a good sermon from some good chaplin. I do so hope that there is an exchange of the sick on the way. If I could only get into one of our Hospitals I think there would be some chance of my geting well. Good speed the day when we may all arrive in our lines."
-- Charles Ross, 11th Vermont
(Click at upper right for full-screen experience.)