Andersonville, the largest and the deadliest POW camp for the Americans

Andersonville, the largest and the deadliest POW camp for the Americans


The POW camp at Andersonville, Georgia was the largest prisoner of War camp for the American.s It was called Camp Sumter, and it was the deadliest POW camp for the Americans. In all, 12,913 of the approximately 45,000 Union prisoners died there due to starvation, malnutrition, diarrhea, and disease. The condition at camp was so bad that over a hundred Confederate guard also die of malnutrition and disease while guarding the prisoners. Today, on the former site of Camp Sumter is a National POW Museum to honor American POW from all wars with an extensive collections from "Hanoi Hilton" and the Vietnam War, a cemetery for Union soldiers perished at the camp and the Camp Sumter itself. It is rather ironic that the largest and the deadliest POW camp for Americans is located on the American soil!

Stories about Andersonville, the largest and the deadliest POW camp for the Americans

The execution of Henry Wirz

  • Washington, DC

On November 10, 1865, at Old Capitol Prison, Henry Wirz received the last rites of his church. He told Father Boyle that he forgave his enemies. The officer in charge of the execution came and told him that his time had come. "I am ready, Sir," Wirz replied.

The gallows was near the spot where on July 7, Mary Surratt and three conspirators that plotted Lincoln's assassination were executed (see photo of execution of Lincoln Conspirators). For more information on Wirz execution, see the excellent footnote page "Civil war Hangings & other Execution" by BGILL in the related Pages.

In a carnival atmosphere, surrounded by soldiers shouting "Andersonville, Andersonville" over and over as Henry Wirz mount the steps of the gallows. The executioner did not grease the noose and made the drop short, so it will not break the Wirz's neck, thus assuring Wirz will not die quickly. He was buried next to the graves of conspirators for Lincoln's assassination.

Henry Wirz was the only Confederate official to be tried and convicted of war crimes
resulting from the Civil War.

In 1868, President Andrew Johnson finally did the right thing, what Lincoln would have done, he allowed Wirz and Mary Surratt's family to reclaimed the bodies and give them a proper burial. Also returned to his family was the body of John Wikes Booth, which had been secretly buried in prison yard. John's remain was reinterred in Booth family plot in Baltimore Maryland.

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Edward1026 - Anyone can contribute
23 Jul 2009
05 Jul 2012
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