• North HillSide Photomerge

    Andersonville

    National Historic Site Georgia

Historical & Environmental Education Reading

A wide array of primary source material exists that provides first-hand accounts of the experiences of prisoners of war. The following items represent some of the most useful and interesting.

  • Drawing of men cowering in an open prison pen during a storm.

    Featured Materials

    Life and Death in Rebel Prisons

    One of the earliest published Andersonville prisoner memoirs. Explore »

  • Cover page of transcript

    Featured Materials

    Trial of Henry Wirz

    Published transcript from the war crimes trial of Captain Henry Wirz Explore »

  • Plan of the Libby prison escape tunnel

    Featured Materials

    Libby life: experiences of a prisoner of war in Richmond, Va., 1863-64

    An officer's account of captivity at the Libby prison. Explore »

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Showing results 1-10 of 11

  • Andersonville National Historic Site

    A list of the Union soldiers buried at Andersonville

    A list of the Union soldiers buried at Andersonville

    Published in 1866, this report provides a list of the dead at Andersonville, taken from Dorence Atwater's secret copy of the official Conderderate records. Dorence, a prisoner held at Andersonville for eleven months, spent much of his time held at the prison as a paroled prisoner, working in the hospital office as a clerk. It was in this capacity that he made a secret copy of the death register. He and Clara Barton accompanied the Army expedition to Andersonvill in the summer of 1865.

  • Andersonville National Historic Site

    Civil War Series: The Prison Camp at Andersonville

    Civil War Series: The Prison Camp at Andersonville

    Part of the National Park Civil War Series. The military prison camp at Andersonville soon came to symbolize a national tragedy as human misery reached its zenith. This booklet also includes photos and summaries of the other Civil War prison camps in the North and South.

  • Andersonville National Historic Site

    Contributions relating to the causation and prevention of disease, and to camp diseases; together with a report of the diseases, etc., among the prisoners at Andersonville, Ga

    Contributions relating to the causation and prevention of disease, and to camp diseases; together with a report of the diseases, etc., among the prisoners at Andersonville, Ga

    This report by the non-governmental U.S Sanitary Commission is devoted to a series of medical issues pertaining to the Civil War. A third of the book is devoted to Andersonville, written by Confederate surgeon Joseph Jones, M.D. Portions of his essay are derived from the report he attempted to suppress at the end of the war.

  • Andersonville National Historic Site

    Libby life: experiences of a prisoner of war in Richmond, Va., 1863-64

    Libby life: experiences of a prisoner of war in Richmond, Va., 1863-64

    Cuban-born Federico Cavada moved to Philadelphia, the hometown of his American mother. A strong abolitionist, Cavada joined the army at the beginning of the war as an engineer and quickly moved up the ranks. As a lieutenant colonel of the 114th Pennsylvania volunteers, Cavada was captured at Gettysburg, July, 1863. His journal extends from that date to March, 1864. The appendix (p. 205-221) contains a list of Libby prisoners who requested its publication (Dec. 1863)

  • Andersonville National Historic Site

    Life and Death in Rebel Prisons

    Life and Death in Rebel Prisons

    Published as the war ended, this prisoner memoir is important because it is among the very first books to tell the Andersonville experience to a national audience. The book also contains descriptive information on other Confederate military prisons, written by men held at each of the locations.

  • Andersonville National Historic Site

    Narrative of privations and sufferings of United States officers and soldiers while prisoners of war in the hands of the Rebel authorities

    Narrative of privations and sufferings of United States officers and soldiers while prisoners of war in the hands of the Rebel authorities

    This report, published by the non-governmental United States Sanitary Commission provides multiple accounts of the treatment of Union prisoners of war in Confederate military prisons.

  • Andersonville National Historic Site

    On wheels and how I came there

    On wheels and how I came there

    Written twenty-seven years after the end of the war, this prisoner memoir provides a rare account of a prisoner held at Andersonville during the winter of 1864-65. The title of the book is derived from the fact that during his imprisonment Smith contracted scurvy, and was confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of his life.

  • Andersonville National Historic Site

    Report on the Treatment of Prisoners of War

    Report on the Treatment of Prisoners of War

    This document is the report of a House of Representatives committee which interviewed former prisoners of war and civilians imprisoned by the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. Very much a political document, the report does still contain much material of interest. Beginning on page 787 of the report are transcripts and written statements of Union POWs, telling their own experiences.

  • Andersonville National Historic Site

    Scraps from the prison table, at Camp Chase and Johnson's Island.

    Scraps from the prison table, at Camp Chase and Johnson's Island.

    The account of a Confederate officer of captivity at Johnson's Island. Also contains material related to Wirz, including a letter from Louis Schade, one of Wirz's defense attornies.

  • Andersonville National Historic Site

    The martyrs who, for our country, gave up their lives in the prison pens in Andersonville, Ga

    The martyrs who, for our country, gave up their lives in the prison pens in Andersonville, Ga

    Captain James M. Moore, assistant quartermaster United States army, led the expedition to Andersonville in the summer of 1865 which established the National Cemetery. This booklet includes his official report of the expedition and includes a listing of the dead buried at Andersonville. This list was published by the government to compete with Dorence Atwater's list of the Andersonville dead, also published in 1866.

Did You Know?

Prisoner illustration of the dead wagon

When rations were issued, the wagon would enter through the North Gate in the morning. In the evening, the wagon would then take the deceased prisoners from the South Gate and Hospital to the Dead House and eventually to the cemetery.