Andersonville-og

The Yankee Prisoners at Andersonville (1864)

This item appeared in the August 26, 1864 issue of The Charleston Mercury. This newspaper is part of our Civil War Collection, Part I: A Newspaper Perspective. A Newspaper Perspective contains major articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.

A correspondent of the Atlanta Confederacy says:

Andersonville was an interesting and novel spectacle to me. The Yankee prisoners within the stockade, about 30,000 in number, when closely viewed, resemble more in their motions a hive of bees seen through a glass opening that anything else I can think of. The area of the stockade is being rapidly increased by General Winder, who is evidently desirous of doing all in his power to make them comfortable.

Detailed plan of Andersonville Prison Camp, showing Sweetwater Lick to the north, and the Southwestern & Enfaula Railroad to the east. Shows the main forts, stockade and cemetery by Robert Knox Sneden (1832-1918).

Detailed plan of Andersonville Prison Camp, showing Sweetwater Lick to the north, and the Southwestern & Enfaula Railroad to the east. Shows the main forts, stockade and cemetery by Robert Knox Sneden (1832-1918).

They have thousands of little huts and tents, variously constructed, which seem to protect them from the scorching rays of the sun and the inclemency of the weather generally. Gen. W. informed me that very soon the lumber would be procurable to put up temporary shanties for their comfort.

A fine but small stream of water runs through the stockade, supplying them with water for bathing and other purposes. I saw hundreds of them bathing in this stream at once. Others, not engaged in bathing, were walking about among their fellows, each, in the language of the famous ballad of Young Tamerlane, ‘mother naked man.’ I learn that many of them have bartered away nearly all their clothing for tobacco. On the whole, their condition, bad as it is, and bad as it deserves to be, seemed better than could have been expected.

In spite, however, of every effort to treat them with humanity, their mortality is great, averaging about one hundred per day. About 2000 are in hospital. Over 36,000 have been received since the establishment of Andersonville as a military prison.

The prisoners are said to be very docile, but greatly exasperated at the Royal Ape (President Lincoln) for not exchanging them. They were greatly elated last evening at finding a paragraph in one of our newspapers stating that a general exchange of prisoners would soon be resumed.

The defences of Andersonville are admirably planned by the skillful veteran, General Winder. Formidable batteries of artillery bear directly on the prisoners, in the event of an emeute; and strong works, with artillery, defend the place against hostilities from without. A strong force of infantry is there also. Raiders would find themselves woefully mistaken if they were to attempt the liberation of the prisoners.’

Part I of our Civil War collection, A Newspaper Perspective, contains articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.

All images included in blog posts are from either Accessible Archives collections or out of copyright public sources unless otherwise noted. Common sources include the Library of Congress, The Flickr Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and other public archives.

Related Posts

Tags: , ,

Stay Connected

Connect with Accessible Archives on Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin to stay up to date on news and blog posts or get our latest blog posts by email.

Positive SSL