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I grew up about 10 miles from Andersonville and really took the place for granted. I would go out there, look at stuff, admire the hills and never get a feeling of what it all meant. The place doesn't feel at all dreadful, even though it has every right to. So many people suffered and died there. Andersonville is the National POW museum.

When we first got married we lived in Andersonville for 9 months. We lived in a little farm house on a dairy and when the wind blew the curtains would move. We could only run one appliance at a time in the kitchen or we'd trip a breaker. Oh how far we've come. Anyway, onto the pictures.

I met a gentleman named Kevin Frye, a volunteer at the site, while at Andersonville that day and he really shed some light on the symbolism that is portrayed in many of the monuments. If you can't read it, the text reads: "Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope..." It's from Zacharia 9:12 in the Bible and Mr Frye told me that there was a common theme that was found in all POW stories from the Civil War up unto the current war.

There is Religion. If a person becomes a prisoner of war and doesn't have religion, he finds it; or if he's already religious it becomes much stronger. This is depicted by the figure in the middle who was crafted to look like our idea of what Jesus looked like.

There is despair In conditions that these poor souls faced it is no wonder that despair was in such great supply. That is depicted by the figure on the left.

Mr Frye also said that there is Hope. Without hope, the prisoner will never make it. It must take more courage than I can imagine to keep hope in conditions such as these prisoners faced. That is depicted by the figure on the right, looking up as unto God.

Another thing that struck me was the number of unknown soldiers buried at Andersonville. There were so many dying that the confederates had no choice but to abandon burying prisoners in pine boxes and resort to burying them in trenches, shoulder to shoulder. If a man died with nice clothes, he was buried naked. The living needed them more than the dead.

Monuments have been erected by states who lost sons at this prison. I took pictures of most of them and here they are. Please forgive any framing problems, I took these with a film camera and tripod and it was my first time using a tripod so they might be slightly off.



This is the front of the New York monument

This is the back. Notice the same symbolism that we saw in the first picture that Mr Frye told me about.

New Jersey







Rhode Island





This is a tally of the poor souls who died there.

That's all for right now. I have some more pictures if anyone is interested.

I'm not the best photographer and as you can tell, I have things to learn about that camera, like what it's actual field of view is. I also need to put a level on my tripod for when I turn the camera on its side as you can tell from some of the off kilter pictures.

Edit to add a link to the official National Park Service site for Andersonville:


I'll post some more of what I have.

Some more unkown soldiers. These headstones are pretty new, so I'm not sure if they were from the Civil War or a later war since it is a national cemetary and is still in use.

The monument to Clara Barton who worked to identify soldiers at Andersonville.

This is an escape hole. It doesn't look all that impressive anymore because time has filled it in quite a bit.

Part of the stockade has been rebuilt. I'm sorry I didn't get any close ups, I was pressed for time. It's very well worth checking out if you visit.

This is Providence Spring. Durring a heavy rainstorm on August 14, 1864 a spring suddenly gushed from this hillside. The prisoners were desparate for fresh water and over time the event became legendary. Several men claimed to have seen lightening strike the spot before the spring burst forth.

Since it is the national POW museum site, there are other things there besides the Civil War. One thing is this monument to the prisoners of war held at Stalag XVII-B durring WWII.

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