The Dead of Andersonville
The nearly 13,000 Union
soldiers who died at Camp
Sumter are buried in rows.
Andersonville National Cemetery - Andersonville, Georgia
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Andersonville National Cemetery, Georgia
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Andersonville National Cemetery, Georgia
Andersonville National Cemetery
Located adjacent to Andersonville National Historic
Site, the Andersonville National Cemetery contains
the graves of 13,000 of the prison's dead.
Burial Place of 13,000 Prisoners
Georgia's Andersonville National Cemetery
is the final resting place for nearly 13,000
Union prisoners who died at the adjacent
Camp Sumter Civil War prison.

Adjoining
Andersonville National Historic
Site, the cemetery now contains the graves of
some 18,000 American servicemen and
women. It began, however, as the burial
ground for Camp Sumter.

The first graves were dug here in early 1864
as thousands upon thousands of Union
prisoners of war were unloaded from trains
at the nearby depot and herded into the
rough pine log stockade that became one of
the deadliest of all Civil War prisons.

In its fourteen month existence, Camp
Sumter or Andersonville recorded a death
rate of around 27 percent. It was not an
isolated situation. The Union prisoner of war
camp at Elmira, New York, reported a
mortality rate of 25%.

Between February of 1864 and May of 1865,
burial crews dug trenches and interred the
remains of nearly 13,000 prisoners at Camp
Sumter, establishing what later became the
Andersonville National Cemetery. The men
died from a variety of causes, particularly
malnutrition, disease and exposure to the
elements.

In the years following the Civil War, a major
project was initiated to mark and preserve
the burial ground at Andersonville. Clara
Barton, founder of the American Red Cross,
worked with others to identify the graves. With
help from a log book maintained by a
prisoner who assisted with the burial details,
most of the graves were identified.

Declared a National Cemetery on June 26,
1865, Andersonville National Cemetery is
now maintained by the U.S. Department of
the Interior. Connected to the adjacent
Andersonville National Historic Site and the
National Prisoner of War Museum, it is a
moving place to walk and reflect on the cost
of war.

In one area of the cemetery can be found six
graves set apart from all the others. These
are the burial places of the "Raiders," a
group of outlaws who terrorized, beat and
stole from other prisoners. Arrested and tried
by the prisoners themselves, they were
hanged and buried apart from the other
Andersonville dead.

Located on Highway 49 in Andersonville,
Georgia, the cemetery is open to the public
daily from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Eastern time,
365 days each year. There is no charge to
visit the cemetery, adjacent prison site or the
National Prisoner of War Museum.
Prisoners of Hope
The poignant Georgia
Monument at Andersonville
National Cemetery calls out to
Prisoners of Hope.
Photos by Lauren Pitone
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
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