History & Culture
Andersonville National Historic Site is the only park in the National Park System to serve as a memorial to all American prisoners of war. Congress stated in the authorizing legislation that this park's purpose is "to provide an understanding of the overall prisoner of war story of the Civil War, to interpret the role of prisoner of war camps in history, to commemorate the sacrifice of Americans who lost their lives in such camps, and to preserve the monuments located within the site."
The landscapes of Andersonville National Historic Site serve as an ideal location to research and explore the people, places and stories which illustrate the prisoner of war experience and the significant cultural resources cared for and preserved by the National Park Service.
Did You Know?
Most visitors exploring Andersonville National Cemetery are unaware that the New York monument has an image sculpted on the reverse side of the memorial. The image on the reverse depicts two Andersonville prisoners. One is seen as dejected while the other appears hopeful. An angel approaches the prisoners carrying an olive branch, the symbol of peace, which was used to represent the reconciliation between the North and the South.