Summary

USS Southfield - was Captured (19April 1864) and sent to Andersonville Prison. Died 7 September 1864.

Death:
07 Sep 1864 1
Georgia, USA 1
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Charles Anderson Headstone
Charles Anderson Headstone
Andersonville National Cemetery Andersonville (Sumter County) Sumter County Georgia, USA Plot: 8071
USS SOUTHFIELD
USS SOUTHFIELD
USS Southfield was a double-ended, sidewheel steam gunboat of the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was sunk in action against the Confederate ironclad ram CSS Albemarle during the Battle of Plymouth (1864).
Andersonville National Cemetery Georgia
Andersonville National Cemetery Georgia
Andersonville National Cemetery Andersonville (Sumter County) Sumter County Georgia, USA Plot: 8071

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Full Name:
Charles Anderson 1
Death:
07 Sep 1864 1
Georgia, USA 1
Burial:
Burial Place: Andersonville National Cemetery Andersonville (Sumter County) Sumter County Georgia, USA Plot: 8071 2

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Charles Anderson

USS SOUTHFIELD
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Info from National Park Service:
Last Name: ANDERSON
First Name: CHARLES
State: US
Branch of Service: NAVY
Date of Death: 9/7/1864
Cause of Death: DIARRHEA
Remarks: USS SOUTHFIELD
Place Captured: PLYMOUTH, NC
Date Captured: 4/19/1864
Status: DIED AT ANDERSONVILLE
 

 

USS Southfield (1857)

USS Southfield (1857) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search
USS Southfield, sinking after a battle with CSS Albemarle Career Name: USS Southfield Builder: John English, Brooklyn Launched: 1857 Commissioned: December 1861 Decommissioned: April 1864 Fate: Sunk by CSS Albemarle, 19 April 1864 General characteristics Type: Sidewheel gunboat Displacement: 750 long tons (762 t) Length: 200 ft (61 m) Beam: 34 ft (10 m) Draft: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) Depth of hold: 11 ft 8 in (3.56 m) Propulsion: Steam engine Speed: 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) Complement: 61 officers and men Armament: • 1 × 100-pounder Parrott rifle
• 3 × 8 in (200 mm) Dahlgren smoothbore cannons

USS Southfield was a double-ended, sidewheel steam gunboat of the Union Navy during the American Civil War. She was sunk in action against the Confederate ironclad ram CSS Albemarle during the Battle of Plymouth (1864).

Southfield was built in 1857 at Brooklyn, New York by John English, and served as a ferry between South Ferry, New York, and St. George, Staten Island, until she was purchased by the U.S. Navy at New York City on December 16, 1861 from the New York Ferry Company. She was commissioned late in December 1861, Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Charles F. W. Behm in command.

Contents Service history Battle of Roanoke Island, 1862

The double-ended gunboat joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron at Hampton Roads on the afternoon of January 2, 1862. On January 11, Admiral Louis M. Goldsborough ordered Southfield to proceed to Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina, the staging area for an expedition against Roanoke Island, which controlled navigation in the North Carolina sounds. The gunboat was detained at Hampton Roads awaiting troops to fill out her complement until about sunset on January 16 when she got underway south. She reached Hatteras Inlet the next day.

Great labor was required to get Goldsborough's ships and the U.S. Army transports over Hatteras bar. The last vessel entered the sounds on February 5, enabling the expedition to get underway.

The next morning, February 6, Goldsborough shifted his flag from the deep draft USS Philadelphia to Southfield since the double-ender was more nimble in shallow water. From her deck, he directed the attack on Confederate defenses, which began on the morning of February 7 with a heavy bombardment of Fort Bartow and was continued until dark. Late in the afternoon, Army troops under Brigadier General Ambrose Burnside landed under the cover of the naval gunfire.

The attack was resumed on the morning of February 8 and pressed until about midafternoon, when the Union flag flew over Fort Bartow. Shortly thereafter, the Union ships managed to break through the Confederate obstruction and enter Albemarle Sound.

The capture of Roanoke Island assured the Union forces free access to North Carolina's vast system of inland waterways and endangered the South's hold on much of North Carolina and Virginia. Norfolk, Virginia, a Southern strong point of special strategic importance, was flanked; and, in a few months, it was abandoned.

Goldsborough was vigorous in exploiting the opening he had created by the conquest of Roanoke Island. Two days later, Elizabeth City, North Carolina was in Union hands. New Bern, North Carolina fell on March 14. Beaufort, North Carolina was captured by the end of April. Southfield played a major role in these Union conquests.

Peninsula Campaign, 1862

Late in May, her effort in behalf of the Union cause in North Carolina was interrupted by General George McClellan's request for more naval assistance in his drive up the peninsula from Fort Monroe toward Richmond, Virginia. Southfield arrived at Hampton Roads on June 2 and devoted most of the summer to operations on the York and James Rivers which form the peninsula. At the end of August, after McClellan had evacuated his army, the double-ender was sent to the Norfolk Navy Yard for badly needed repairs before returning to the North Carolina sounds.

Battle of Washington, 1863

Back in fighting trim, Southfield departed Hampton Roads on December 2, arrived at Hatteras Inlet the next day, and proceeded to Plymouth, North Carolina. On the morning of December 10, she engaged a Confederate land force which attacked that city. A Southern shot pierced her steam chest, disabling her engine and filling the ship with hot steam. The scalding vapor prevented the gunboat's crew from reaching her magazine and thus made it impossible for her guns to continue their fire. Boats were lowered to pull the disabled ship downstream; but USS Commodore Perry, hearing the firing, steamed up, took Southfield in tow, and returned with her to Plymouth. By that time, the Confederate raiders had withdrawn.

On the last day of March 1863, Confederate troops attacked and besieged the Union garrison at Washington, North Carolina. Southfield was ordered from Plymouth to the scene of the action where she engaged the investing forces. She and other Union gunboats also carried supplies through the blockade to sustain the beleaguered Northern troops, finally forcing the Southern attackers to withdraw on April 16.

The next day, Southfield headed back for Plymouth and, for the following year of relative quiet in the sounds of North Carolina, labored to protect the Union's tenuous hold on the region.

Battle of Plymouth, 1864

However, the approach of the spring of 1864 seemed to stir new life among Confederate forces in the region. In February, they attacked New Bern and captured gunboat USS Underwriter. On the first day of March, Southfield and tinclad USS Whitehead ascended the Chowan River to assist Army steamer USS Bombshell, which had been cut off by Confederates above Petty Shore. On March 2, they shelled the Southern batteries, enabling Bombshell to dash down to safety.

But worst of all, the air was rife with rumors that Rebel ironclad ram CSS Albemarle was ready to descend the Roanoke River to destroy the Union warships in the sounds. On the afternoon of April 17, Confederate ground forces attacked Plymouth with artillery and musketry. The Union gunboats in the vicinity helped to defend the town for the remainder of the day and throughout the next.

That night, in anticipation of an attack by Albemarle, Southfield was brought alongside USS Miami, and the two ships were lashed together for mutual protection and concentration of firepower. Before dawn on the morning of April 19, Albemarle emerged from the Roanoke. Miami and Southfield raced toward her. When the three ships collided, the ram scraped across Miami's bow, smashed through Southfield's starboard side, and pierced the wooden gunboat's boiler. For a moment, both Miami and Albemarle were entangled with the fatally wounded double-ender. The forward ropes which had lashed Southfield to Miami were snapped by the collision, and the aft lines were cut by Miami's crew. Albemarle had a harder time extricating herself from her bested and rapidly sinking adversary.

Before she could pull free from the wreck by backing her engines, the ram had taken on so much water that her forward deck was too far depressed to permit her to overtake Miami or to let her guns open fire on the departing side-wheeler. Thus, in sinking, Southfield saved her consort.

 

Andersonville National Historic Site

Andersonville National Historic Site From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Andersonville National Historic Site U.S. National Register of Historic Places U.S. Historic district U.S. National Historic Site Reconstruction of a section of the stockade wall Location: Macon / Sumter counties, Georgia, USA Nearest city: Andersonville, Georgia, Americus, Georgia Coordinates: 32°12′23″N 84°7′24″WCoordinates: 32°12′23″N 84°7′24″W Area: 514 acres (208 ha)[3] Built: April 1864 Visitation: 1,436,759 (2011)[4] Governing body: National Park Service NRHP Reference#: 70000070[1][2] Significant dates Added to NRHP: October 16, 1970 Designated NHS: October 16, 1970

The Andersonville National Historic Site, located near Andersonville, Georgia, preserves the former Camp Sumter (also known as Andersonville Prison), 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. As well as the former prison, the site also contains the Andersonville National Cemetery and the National Prisoner of War Museum.

Of the approximately 45,000 Union prisoners held at Camp Sumter during the war, nearly 13,000 died of starvation, malnutrition, diarrhea or communicable diseases.[5]

Contents Conditions A depiction of Andersonville Prison by John L. Ransom, author of Andersonville Diary, Escape and List of the Dead.
[show]Legend 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

The prison, which opened in February 1864,[6] originally covered about 16.5 acres (67,000 m2) of land enclosed by a 15-foot (4.6 m) high stockade. In June 1864 it was enlarged to 26.5 acres (107,000 m2). The stockade was in the shape of a rectangle 1,620 feet (490 m) by 779 feet (237 m). There were two entrances on the west side of the stockade, known as "north entrance" and "south entrance".[7]

A prisoner described his entry into the prison camp:

As we entered the place, a spectacle met our eyes that almost froze our blood with horror, and made our hearts fail within us. Before us were forms that had once been active and erect;—stalwart men, now nothing but mere walking skeletons, covered with filth and vermin. Many of our men, in the heat and intensity of their feeling, exclaimed with earnestness. "Can this be hell?" "God protect us!" and all thought that He alone could bring them out alive from so terrible a place. 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. 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.[8]

Further descriptions of the camp can be found in the diary of Ransom Chadwick, a member of the 85th New York Infantry Regiment. Chadwick and his regimental mates were taken to the Andersonville Prison, arriving on April 30, 1864.[9]

Father Peter Whelan arrived on 16 June 1864 to muster the resources of the church and help provide relief to the prisoners.

At Andersonville, a light fence known as "the dead line" was erected approximately 19 feet (5.8 m) inside the stockade wall. It demarcated a no-man's land that kept prisoners away from the stockade wall, which was made of rough-hewn logs about 16 feet (4.9 m) high.[10] Anyone crossing or even touching this "dead line" was shot without warning by sentries in the pigeon roosts.

Andersonville prisoners and tents, southwest view showing the dead-line, August 17, 1864.

At this time in the war, Andersonville Prison was frequently undersupplied with food. This applied both to prisoners and the Confederate personnel within the fort. Even when sufficient quantities were available, the supplies were of poor quality and poorly prepared. During the summer of 1864 Union prisoners suffered greatly from hunger, exposure and disease. Within seven months, about a third of them died from what was diagnosed as dysentery and scurvy and were buried in mass graves, the standard practice by Confederate prison authorities at Andersonville. In 1864 the Confederate Surgeon General asked Joseph Jones, an expert on infectious disease, to investigate the high mortality rate at the camp. He concluded that it was due to "scorbutic dysentery" (bloody diarrhea caused by vitamin C deficiency), yet in hindsight it is likely that the cause of fatal emaciation and diarrhea was rampant hookworm disease, a condition not recognized or known during the Civil War.[11]

The water supply from Stockade Creek became polluted when too many Union prisoners were housed by the Confederate authorities within the prison walls. Part of the creek was used as a sink and the men were forced to wash themselves in the creek.

A Union soldier who survived

The guards, disease, starvation and exposure were not all that prisoners had to deal with. A group of prisoners, calling themselves the Andersonville Raiders, attacked their fellow inmates to steal food, jewelry, money and clothing. They were armed mostly with clubs and killed to get what they wanted. Another group rose up, organized by Peter "Big Pete" Aubrey, to stop the larceny, calling themselves "Regulators". They caught nearly all of the Raiders, who were then tried by the Regulators' judge, Peter McCullough, and jury, selected from a group of new prisoners. This jury, upon finding the Raiders guilty, set punishment that included running the gauntlet, being sent to the stocks, ball and chain and, in six cases, hanging.[12]

The conditions were so poor that in July 1864 Captain Wirz paroled five Union soldiers to deliver a petition signed by the majority of Andersonville's prisoners asking that the Union reinstate prisoner exchanges. The request in the petition was denied and the Union soldiers, who had sworn to do so, returned to report this to their comrades.[13]

In the latter part of the summer of 1864 the Confederacy offered to unconditionally release prisoners if the Union would send ships (Andersonville is inland, with access possible only via rail and road) to retrieve them. In the autumn of 1864, after the capture of Atlanta, all the prisoners who were well enough to be moved were sent to Millen, Georgia, and Florence, South Carolina. At Millen, better arrangements prevailed, and after General William Tecumseh Sherman began his march to the sea, the prisoners were returned to Andersonville, where conditions were somewhat improved.

During the war, 45,000 prisoners were received at Andersonville prison, and of these nearly 13,000 died.[5] The nature of the deaths and the reasons for them are a continuing source of controversy among historians. Some contend that they were a result of deliberate Confederate war crimes toward Union prisoners and others that they were the result of disease promoted by severe overcrowding, the shortage of food in the Confederate States, the incompetence of the prison officials, and the refusal of Union authorities to reinstate the prisoner exchange, thus overfilling the stockade.[14]

A young Union prisoner, Dorence Atwater, had been chosen to record the names and numbers of the dead at Andersonville for the use of the Confederacy and the federal government after the war ended. He believed the federal government would never see the list, and was right in this assumption, as it turned out. He sat next to Henry Wirz, who was in charge of the prison pen, and secretly kept his own list among other papers. When Atwater was released, he put the list in his bag and took it through the lines without being caught. It was published by the New York Tribune when Horace Greeley, the owner, learned that the federal government had refused and given Atwater much grief. It was Atwater's opinion that Andersonville was indeed trying to make soldiers unfit to fight.[15]

Andersonville's decrepit conditions were chronicled in the diary of P.O.W. Newell Burch. Burch of the 154th New York Volunteer Infantry, was captured on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg and imprisoned at Belle Isle and then Andersonville. He is credited with being the longest held Union prisoner of war during the Civil War, a total of 661 days in Confederate hands.[16] His diary is in the collection of the Dunn County Historical Society in Menomonie, Wisconsin, and a mimeographed copy is in the Wisconsin Historical Society archives.[17]

Aftermath

Andersonville Prison was liberated in May 1865.[18]

Some of the monuments at Andersonville

After the war Henry Wirz, commandant of the inner stockade at Camp Sumter, 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.

A number of former prisoners testified on conditions at Andersonville, many accusing Wirz of specific acts of cruelty, for some of which Wirz was not even present in the camp. The court also considered official correspondence from captured Confederate records. Perhaps the most damaging was a letter to the Confederate surgeon general by Dr. James Jones, who in 1864 was sent by Richmond to investigate conditions at Camp Sumter.[19] Jones had been appalled by what he found and his graphically detailed report to his superiors all but closed the case for the prosecution. Wirz presented evidence that he pleaded to Confederate authorities to try to get more food and tried to improve the conditions for the prisoners inside.

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 (but see reference to Champ Ferguson). The revelation of the prisoners' sufferings was one of the factors that shaped public opinion in the North regarding the South after the close of the Civil War.[citation needed]

In 1890 the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Georgia, bought the site of Andersonville Prison through membership and subscriptions.[20] In 1910 the site was donated to the federal government by the Woman's Relief Corps[21] (auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic).[22]

National Prisoner of War Museum

The National Prisoner of War Museum opened in 1998 as a memorial to all American prisoners of war. Exhibits use art, photographs, displays and video presentations to focus on the capture, living conditions, hardships and experiences of American prisoners of war in all periods. The museum also serves as the park's visitor center.[23]

Andersonville National Cemetery Andersonville National Cemetery

The cemetery is the final resting place for the Union prisoners who died while being held at Camp Sumter/Andersonville as POWs. The prisoners' burial ground at Camp Sumter has been made a national cemetery. It contains 13,714 graves, of which 921 are marked "unknown".

As a National Cemetery, it is currently an honored burial place for more recent veterans and their dependents.

Historic Prison Site

Visitors can walk the 26.5 acres (10.7 ha) site of Camp Sumter, which has been outlined with double rows of white posts. Two sections of the stockade wall have been reconstructed, the north gate and the northeast corner.

 

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