Built in 1864, Andersonville Prison is known as one of the largest established prison camps during the civil war. This prison is a holding ground for captured Union soldiers located in the Deep South, in Andersonville, Georgia. Designed to hold about 10,000 soldiers, 32,000 are actually confined.
Andersonville Prison, or Camp Sumter as it was officially named, was 16½ acres of land enclosed by a 15ft high fence. It was later enlarged to 26½ acres due to overcrowding. The fence perimeter is in the shape of a parallelogram measuring 1,620ft long by 779ft wide. Anyone who gets closer than 15ft of the perimeter is immediately shot.
The conditions are gruesome. Many of the soldiers get disabilities from the unbearable health/nutritional conditions. 12,912 deaths have been a result so far. Soldiers die every day at the rate of 1 prisoner every 11 minutes. The soldiers have no shelter, so they make holes in the ground in which to live or collect scraps of wood and make a hut. Running in the middle of the prison is a befouled shallow moving stream absurdly name The Sweet Water Branch. It is used as a sewer as well as a source of drinking water and for bathing. Due to lack of water the soldiers never wash their clothes or bodies. Soldiers are desperately hungry; the Confederates barely have enough food for their own soldiers let alone the prisoners. They are fed 1 teaspoon of salt, 3 teaspoons of beans and half a pint of unsifted corn meal per day. Prisoners also develop severe conditions such as gangrene, which eats large holes in their bodies, some big enough to lay half an orange inside. Some also develop illnesses such as dysentery, scurvy and malaria. Many of these are a cause of death for the soldiers.
Andersonville Prison is not like any other civil war prison. It is gruesome, harsh and inhumane to the good-hearted Union soldiers who fight for our country.