At the end of the activity, the students will be able to:
"This is sacred ground, consecrated by the suffering of men who here gave the last full measure of devotion." - Governor A.T. Bliss at the dedication of the Michigan monument, 1904
In the late 1800s and early 1900s several states, along with organizations like the Woman's Relief Corps, began to erect monuments around the Andersonville Prison Site and the Andersonville National Cemetery. The purpose of these monuments was to honor the soldiers who were held captive here and to memorialize those who died. Most of the monuments were built with the support of Andersonville survivors, many of whom attended the dedications. The purpose of this activity is for you to explore the monuments in the cemetery and to gain an understanding as to how and why people chose to build them.
A Note about the National Cemetery
The Andersonville National Cemetery is an active Cemetery. If there is a funeral in progress please be respectful of the mourners. There are well over 20,000 American servicemen and their families buried here. At no time should there be running, loud talking, or horseplay. Respect the landscape and monuments of the park. Do not climb on the earthworks, monuments, or cannon. Park staff asks that teachers and chaperones be aware of student behavior at all times in the cemetery.
The Andersonville National Cemetery is an active Cemetery. If there is a funeral in progress please be respectful of the mourners. If a funeral service is occurring, students should at no time approach the rostrum area.
This is an Outdoor Program
For safety and comfort, students should wear close-toed shoes and be appropriately dressed for the weather. The cemetery is a large field, and may have uneven surfaces, long grass or insects.
Provided by Teacher - photocopies of the monument worksheet included with this lesson plan. Pencils and clipboards.
Park school busses adjacent to the picnic area along the road between the prison site and the cemetery. The roads in the cemetery are too narrow to accommodate bus traffic.
Distribute to each group the worksheet for a monument.
Tell the students to shade in Wisconsin, Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, Rhode Island. These states all built monuments inside the prison. Note that the Oddfellows Monument and the Stalag XVII Monument are not state monuments, so the students wouldn't shade anything in on their maps.
Discuss with the students the follow up questions.