Historian Benjamin Cloyd to be Featured Speaker at Andersonville Memorial Day Observance
Contact: Eric Leonard, 229 924-0343, ext. 110
Historian Benjamin Cloyd will be the featured speaker on Sunday, May 29, 2011 at the annual Memorial Day Service at Andersonville National Historic Site.
Memorial Day activities will begin at 1:30 p.m. in Andersonville National Cemetery with instrumental music performed by the Band of the Air Force Reserve. The program will follow at 2:00 p.m. and will conclude with a "laying of wreaths." The traditional laying of wreaths will feature various military, civic, and patriotic organizations, including the Friends of Andersonville. Wreath presenters will be escorted by Warrant Officer Candidates from Fort Rucker Army Base (Alabama). Mr. Edward L. DeMent, past Southeast Region Director of the American Ex-Prisoners of War (AXPOW) will recognize all veterans in attendance on behalf of AXPOW National Commander Morris Barker.
Featured speaker Benjamin Cloyd is a native of Paducah, Kentucky, and attended the University of Notre Dame, graduating in 1998 with a B.A in History. Both his M.A. (2000) and Ph.D. (2005) are from Louisiana State University. Dr. Cloyd is a resident of Jackson, Mississippi where he has taught history at Hinds Community College since 2004.
Dr. Cloyd's book, Haunted by Atrocity: Civil War Prisons in American Memory, was published by LSU Press in the fall of 2010. The book explores the story of Civil War prisons – including Andersonville – from a new perspective. Instead of focusing on the wartime story of the prison, it traces the evolving ways in which Americans, from 1861 to the present, have struggled both to come to terms with the memory of Civil War prisons and to answer the question of what the suffering of prisoners during the Civil War really means.
In preparation for the ceremony, volunteers will raise the "Avenue of Flags" on Friday, May 27, raising full-size American flags along the roadways within the National Cemetery. In the morning of Saturday, May 28, Boy Scout and Girl Scout groups and other community volunteers from across the state of Georgia will decorate approximately 20,000 gravesites in the cemetery with small American flags.
Other events occurring during the Memorial Day Weekend include two book signings. On Saturday, May 28, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Dr. Cloyd will be present in the lobby of the park's National Prisoner of War Museum to sign copies of his book Haunted by Atrocity: Civil War Prisons in American Memory and speak about his research. On Monday, May 30th, World War II POW Frank A. Kravetz will be signing his book, Eleven Two, in the Museum. Portions of the proceeds of Mr. Kravetz' book will be donated to the Friends of Andersonville, to support the production of the traveling exhibit, Victory From Within: the American Prisoner of War Experience.
Andersonville National Historic Site is located 10 miles south of Oglethorpe, GA and 10 miles northeast of Americus, GA on Georgia Highway 49. The site features the National Prisoner of War Museum, Andersonville National Cemetery and the location of the Civil War military prison, Camp Sumter. Andersonville National Historic Site is a unit of the National Park System and serves as a memorial to all American prisoners of war. Park grounds are open from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm with the museum opening at 8:30 am. Admission is free. For more information on the park, call 229 924- 0343, visit on the web at www.nps.gov/ande/, or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/AndersonvilleNPS