Andersonville Prison

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22 Responses to Andersonville Prison

  1. Elmo says:

    I’ll be darned. I just watched this a couple of days ago after a friend recommended the Jerry Skinner series of videos to me.

    • Wirecutter says:

      He must be a great friend!

      • Leverage says:

        Found the Skinner videos a couple months ago and love to go thru his catalogue and watch one after I get off work. Make some dinner and watch some Skinner.

        • Wirecutter says:

          I watch one, sometimes two a night since I discovered him. Lots of good information in them that you’ll not see in a history book. Plus I love the way he talks, reminds me of my great grandfather.

  2. Judy says:

    I read the book back in high school (the 60s). It was the stuff of nightmares. The Confederacy should have hung Wirz themselves. The locals tried to feed the prisoners and were turned away.

    • Wirecutter says:

      Wirz tried several times to help the prisoners by sending a delegation of them to Grant to ask for a prisoner exchange to be reinstated and also to ask for food. Grant refused.

      • Whynot says:

        Paroling was the norm prior to Grant. Both of my GGG grandfathers were captured and paroled (meant promising not to fight for 1 year).

        Grant stopped the process to “shorten the war”.

        NEVER be a prisoner for ANYONE- you won’t like it.

        • Larry says:

          He was right, too, but it was hard on prisoners. Sherman was right, too, though he was hated for it.

  3. De Oppresso Liber says:

    Interesting. There were hell prison camps on both sides. Where prisoners were treated inhumanely. Andersonville was one of the worst.

    The wifes GGGrandfather served on both sides during the Civil War.

    He started with the Confederates when he joined from Grundy County Tennessee. He was captured after a battle and became a prisoner of war. He was sent to the Military Prison in Louisville, Ky, then onto Camp Chase, Ohio. He eventually ended up in Rock Island Illinois.

    After serving as a POW for a couple of years, he became a Galvanized Yankee. Joining the U.S. Army from Rock Island. Confederate prisoners enlisted in the US Army and were sent out west to serve. To protect telegraph lines and fight the Indians. It was the only way to escape the horrible conditions.

    After the war he returned to Grundy County and became a Surveyor, a Sheriff and a Postmaster over his career.

  4. paul b says:

    sad place. shows why we should never let it happen again

  5. whynot says:

    To the victors go the spoils (and the history writing).

    The Union had Camp Douglas (outside Chicago)

  6. BWayne says:

    Now do one showing how badly the yankees treated the Confederate prisoners

  7. Jeffery in Alabama says:

    I recognized the guys voice from a video I watched just this week about McNairy County sheriff Buford Pusser. While some of Skinner’s statements were correct others were conjecture and not based on facts (i.e. the shooting of Louise Hathcock at the Shamrock motel. The autopsy report is public record and no speculation is needed). While I find Mr. Skinner’s story interesting (I also love to hear him speak), I believe there is room for more factual evidence for his Andersonville. version. I do not mean to belittle, but much of what he states here is the condensed version. There are many good sources out there for a more scholarly report (i.e. “John Ransom’s Andersonville Diary”, etc.), The major difference in the treatment of POWs at Andersonville as opposed to Confederate soldiers in infamous Union POW camps is that the Confederacy could barely feed and care for the guards and prisoners whereas the Union camps had plenty of food and medical supplies, yet still mistreated the prisoners (i.e. Point Lookout, MD, Elmira. NY, Camp Douglas near Chicago where observation towers were built and the public could pay money to see Confederate POWs). I have a muster roll where my Great-Great grandfather served a brief stint as a guard with his unit (26th/50th Ala. Inf. Reg’t. at Andersonville after the battles for Atlanta (they practically starved too).One of the things that is rarely mentioned about Andersonville is the thieving and murdering gangs inside the prison who would beat and rob their fellow compatriots, especially the sick and weak. Six soldiers from my county here in NW Alabama are buried in the Andersonville cemetery. They were members of the 1st Ala. Cav. U.S. What an irony!

    • Jeffery in Alabama says:

      In all fairness, I should have made it clear that Mr. Skinner did a good job of noting many facts about the Andersonville/Wirz affair (the benevolence of Wirz, compassion for victims of he “Raiders”, offering multiple prisoner exchanges, and so forth). After Lincoln’s death, there were those in the north who screamed for vengeance. Wirz served the purpose being the “scapegoat” to atone for the dead at Andesonville. The “victors” write the story and rest is “history” as they say.

  8. The Jannie says:

    From what I’ve read elsewhere Captain Wirz was on a hiding to nothing as soon as he was given the job.

  9. warhorse says:

    it was war. shit happens. and I sure as hell don’t blame anyone living today for it.

    unlike some people I’ve met, who seem to act like this happened yesterday.

  10. Shell says:

    A friend of mine and I – both Army vets and history buffs – made a pilgrimage to Andersonville about twenty years ago. I read up on the place before we went so I would know what I was looking at. We got there before lunchtime, walked all over the grounds, walked through the national cemetery (saw where the Raiders who were hung are buried), went through the National POW Museum (slowly), and didn’t leave till they closed the place at 5 o’clock and made us go. It was a powerful experience.

    One thing I made a point of doing there. The source of Providence Spring has what can best be described as a small chapel over it, built by the UDC around 1900 (IIRC). There are signs on the path to it and inside the structure itself that read (paraphrased) “This water has been found by the government to be unfit for human consumption”. I read all the signs, said a silent prayer for the men who had lived and died there, and drank deep of the water that saved many lives.

    On the way home my friend said he’d decided during our visit that the national cemetery is where he will be buried.

Play nice.