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Andersonville: Camp Sumpter Military Prison Camp

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The Camp Sumter military prison at Andersonville was one of the largest Confederate military prisons during the Civil War. During the 14 months the prison existed, more than 45,000 Union soldiers were confined here. Of these, almost 13,000 died here. Today, Andersonville National Historic Site is a memorial to all American prisoners of war throughout the nation's history.


The former Camp Sumter (also known as Andersonville Prison), was a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp during the American Civil War. Most of the site lies in southwestern Macon County, adjacent to the east side of the town of Andersonville.

It was commanded by Major Henry Wirz. The camp, designed to hold a maximum of 10,000 men, was overcrowded to four times its capacity, with inadequate water supply, reduction in food rations, and unsanitary conditions. Of the approximately 45,000 Union prisoners held at Camp Sumter during the war, nearly 13,000 men died. The chief causes of death were scurvy, diarrhea, and dysentery. Friends provided care, food, and moral support for others in their social network, which helped prisoners survive.

Andersonville Prison was captured in May 1865. After the war, Commandant Henry Wirz, was tried by a military tribunal on charges of conspiracy and murder. The trial was presided over by Union General Lew Wallace and featured chief Judge Advocate General (JAG) prosecutor Norton Parker Chipman Wirz was found guilty and was sentenced to death, and on November 10, 1865, he was hanged. Wirz was the only Confederate official to be tried and convicted of war crimes resulting from the Civil War.

In 1890, the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Georgia, bought the site of Andersonville Prison through membership and subscriptions. In 1910 the site was donated to the federal government by the Woman's Relief Corps (auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic).

Andersonville National Cemetery is the final resting place for the Union prisoners who died while being held at Camp Sumter/Andersonville as POWs. The cemetery comprises the prisoners' burial ground at Camp Sumter, and additional land dedicated to the purpose by the Nation Park Service. It contains 13,714 graves, of which 921 are marked "unknown". As a National Cemetery, it is also used as a burial place for more recent veterans and their dependents.

The remainder of the site is a national park. The National Prisoner of War Museum opened in 1998 as a memorial to all American prisoners of war. In creating the park, Congress stated in the authorizing legislation that this park's purpose is "to provide an understanding of the overall prisoner of war story of the Civil War, to interpret the role of prisoner of war camps in history, to commemorate the sacrifice of Americans who lost their lives in such camps, and to preserve the monuments located within the site."

Purpose of the Project

The purpose of this project is to create and collect the names of all soldiers sent to Andersonville, and, especially, those who died there. Just as Andersonville is now a memorial to all prisoners of war, this project will be Geni's memorial to the nearly 13,000 soldiers who died there.

Confederate Officers and Guards

Notable Union Officers and Solidiers