Historic Prison Site
Camp Sumter was established in late 1863 and early 1864 to provide an additional place to hold Union prisoners captured by Confederate forces. The first prisoners were brought to the new prison in February 1864 from Richmond, Virginia. Camp Sumter was built to help lessen the crowding in the facilities in and around Richmond. The new prison was orginally designed to hold a maximum of 10,000 prisoners and was 16.5 acres in size. Overcrowding was an almost immediate problem and by early summer an expansion of 10 acres was completed. By August of 1864, Camp Sumter held over 32,000 prisoners and the death rate was a staggering 100+ daily. In 14 months, nearly 13,000 Union prisoners persished.
Andersonville National Cemetery
Did You Know?
Very little remains of the original Andersonville prison. On the grounds, only the earthworks remain. Housed in the National Prison of War Museum are the original lock, key, and hinge from the South Gate along with a piece of the deadline and a post from the stockade. Relics from prisoners include a mirror and sewing kit as well as handmade items such as a pipe and rings made of bone.