A history of andersonville and elmira prisons during the civil war

By the time he was six feet from shore he was in water up to his neck and we knew that if we crossed that stream we must swim and two of the party could not do that. Our rations were not materially different, but we received some medicine for our scurvy, although not very much to brag about.

After hearing reports of the horrible conditions Union soldiers faced in Confederate prison camps, he ordered reduced rations in retaliation.

He commanded a prison in Tuscaloosa, Alabama ; escorted prisoners around the Confederacy; handled exchanges with the Union; and was wounded in a stagecoach accident.

Of these, almost 13, died from disease, poor sanitation, malnutrition, overcrowding, or exposure to the elements. Our daily occupations were as follows: The steward inquired what I was doing out there. In addition, Eastman reported that the kitchens could only feed 5, a day and the mess room could only seat 1, men at once.

Commandants purposely cut ration sizes and quality for personal profit, leading to illness, scurvy, and starvation. A branch of Sweetwater Creek, called Stockade Branch, flowed through the prison yard and was the only source of water for most of the prison.

This ended up overwhelming the staff and quickly depleting supplies. Many wells were dug and the condition of a large part of the prisoners was much improved.

Even though antebellum prison buildings provided some protection from the elements, blistering summers and brutal winters weakened the immune systems of the already malnourished and shabbily clothed Rebel prisoners.

Petitions from prisoners in the South and editorials in Northern newspapers brought pressure on the Lincoln administration. The federal government was partly to blame, they said, because it had halted its prisoner-exchange program.

South view of stockade. Here we lay in the broiling sun, between two stockades where no breath of air could come and many of us were not even looked at by the doctors. There had been as many as four deaths in one day in some of these tents and I presumed this one was as bad as any.

After enduring all that human nature could I took up my abode in the street, about morning, and was there when the steward came around with his assistants and carried out into the street those who had died during the night, which included my tent mate.

Some former prisoners remained in Federal service, but most returned to the civilian occupations they had before the War.

Davidson, a captain of the guard detail at the prison, blamed the high mortality rate on the changing weather, water, and manner of living. Spring came at last and rumors of an exchange became more and more frequent, and finally a large number of prisoners were taken from the stockade and sent to Vicksburg.

A man of relatively even temperament, Colt achieved what few officers in the war were able to in that he was liked by both Union and Confederate soldiers. After a few days another party were sent away and you can imagine with what utter despondency those left would see the gates closed and we inside.

The creek banks eroded to create a swamp, which occupied a significant portion of the compound.

Andersonville Prison Camp

The campgrounds were enclosed in a yd by yd fence on the west, north, and east with Fosters Pond forming the southern boundary. The nature of the deaths and the reasons for them are a continuing source of controversy. Public opinion forced a change after the First Battle of Bull Runwhen the Confederates captured over one thousand Union soldiers.

Local black labor— slave and free—was impressed into service to build the camp, which consisted of a stockade and trench enclosing more than sixteen acres.

Writer MacKinlay Kantor drew on such memoirs for his best-selling novel Andersonville, which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in and was adapted as a television miniseries for Turner Network Television in The prison was also described in With Lee in Virginia.

Prison Life Andersonville Prison to improve the miserable conditions under which they lived. Andersonville National Historic Site In an emergency, eight small earthen forts around the outside of the prison could hold artillery to put down disturbances within the compound and to defend against Union cavalry attacks.

During [our Sunday] rambles five of the party, with which I was connected, met a colored man from the banks of the Flint River six miles away from Andersonville and, in conversation with him, conceived an idea of escape by way of the Flint River to the blockading squadron in the Appalachian Bay [Apalachee Bay] in the Gulf of Mexico.

Camp Sumter / Andersonville Prison

Hill were assigned the task. Thorp and his fellow soldiers were transported to Jacksonville, Fla. Wood engraving of Union soldiers at Andersonville Prison.

It quickly became infamous for its staggering death rate, unfathomable living conditions, and for its sadistic commandant, Col. The fleas were constantly springing from the sand scattering much of it and the vermin crawling out would take more of it. I speak of tents, not because we all had them by any means, but because many were fortunate enough to have one or a portion of one and if so it meant a great deal—it became a question of life or death to us.

The bottom had a covering of boards and prying up two of them we had a pair of paddles. Let me say here that during June and July it rained for twenty-one consecutive days and the rain-fall amounted at times almost to a deluge. In addition to the high frequency of scurvy, many prisoners endured intense bouts of dysentery which further weakened their frail bodies.

However, the Rock Island garrison eventually built barracks and a hospital to halt the smallpox epidemic. Men detailed to take care of the sick often robbed the hospital of food and supplies.prisoner of war, andersonville, POW, belle ilse, camp douglas, point lookout, alton prison, elmira, A brief overview of the trials and tribulations of the major prisoner of war camps during the Civil War.

According to records, about 56, soldiers died in prisons during the war, accounting for almost 10% of all Civil War fatalities. During a period of 14 months in Camp Sumter, located near Andersonville, Georgia, 13, (28%) of.

Elmira Prison; Part of American Civil War prison camps: Elmira, New York, Elmira Prison was a prison camp operated by the United States government during the American Civil War. and most prisons lay empty.

Complications in led to the breakdown of this system; by April it had been completely suspended, and. A view of prisoner of war camp that operated along the Chemung River in Elmira during the Civil War. Though more than 12, Confederate POWs were assigned to the Elmira prison camp, there was.

Civil War - New York- Elmira Prison. We provide related Civil War Prisons Ancient History, article base on our database. More than Union prisoners of war died at Andersonville prison during the Civil War. Although probably the most notorious, Andersonville was certainly not the only Civil War prison.

By far the most infamous of Civil War prisons, Andersonville, officially known as Camp Sumter, did not exist until the winter of With defeats at Chattanooga and Atlanta in the West and expanding Union offensive operations in the East, the war was going badly for the Confederates.

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A history of andersonville and elmira prisons during the civil war
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