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Contact: Eric Leonard, 229 924-0343, ext. 201
Contact: Stephanie Steinhorst , 229 924-0343, ext. 203
Park staff and volunteers explore the experience of confinement at Andersonville
ANDERSONVILLE, Georgia –At the beginning of May 1864, the Andersonville prison had been operating for just over two months, and held just over its intended capacity of 10,000 prisoners; by the end of the month, the number of prisoners held here would nearly double, as United States soldiers captured at the Battle of the Wilderness and elsewhere were transported to southwest Georgia. Prisoner John Ransom predicted, "It is going to be an awful place during the summer months here, and thousands will die no doubt." Join park staff and volunteers for special programs on the First Saturday of May (Saturday, May 3, 2014), to learn more about the Andersonville Prison. There is no admission fee and all programs are open to the public.
10:00 a.m. — Ranger program: "Command and Control"
Join a park ranger at the star fort to explore the complex challenges and choices faced by the Confederate command staff at the Camp Sumter Military Prison in 1864.
11:00 a.m. — Prison Site Walk
Join longtime volunteer Jimmy Culpepper at the Wisconsin Monument to explore the history of the prison site.
1:00 p.m. — Special program: "The Slaves' Gamble for Freedom: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812"
In the museum theater, Professor Gene Allen Smith, 2013-14 Class of 1957 Distinguished Chair in Naval Heritage at the United States Naval Academy, will explore how the fledgling U.S., European powers, and various Native American groups each "tried to mobilize the free black and slave populations in the hopes of defeating the other." Many slaves saw this jostling for their loyalties as "an avenue to freedom," and consequently joined armies. Using the stories of individual slaves, this presentation connects to American prisoners of War held during the War of 1812 at Dartmoor Prison.
2:00 p.m. — Ranger program: "Confinement at Camp Ford"
Camp Ford was the largest Confederate military prison west of the Mississippi River during the American Civil War. In the museum theater, Park Guide Chris Barr will discuss how United States soldiers adapted to the circumstances of their captivity in the Confederate Southwest.
3:00 p.m. — The Burying Ground: A Walk through the Andersonville National Cemetery
Join a park ranger to walk through the Andersonville National Cemetery and learn more about the process of burying the dead at the Andersonville Prison. Meet at the Georgia Monument.
All programs are subject to change due to weather and other concerns.
First Saturdays are one of a variety of programs over the two-year period of the 150th anniversary of the prison in 2014 & 2015 that will explore the prison site and the prison experience at Andersonville while also addressing the larger story at other military prisons, in the north and south. Every two months during the anniversary period, the park will focus on a single word theme that represents the events, conditions, or emotions of prisoners during the war. To expand the prisoner story, the park will feature other Civil War prisons and draw on their stories to present a fuller picture of the captivity experience.
For more information on anniversary programs, themes and other featured prisons, please visit the park website at: http://go.nps.gov/cwprisons
Andersonville National Historic Site is located 10 miles south of Oglethorpe, GA and 10 miles northeast of Americus, GA on Georgia Highway 49. The national park features the National Prisoner of War Museum, Andersonville National Cemetery and the site of the historic Civil War prison, Camp Sumter. Andersonville National Historic Site is the only national park within the National Park System to serve as a memorial to all American prisoners of war. Park grounds are open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The National Prisoner of War Museum is open 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily. Admission is free. For more information on the park, call 229 924-0343, or visit at www.nps.gov/ande/ Visitus on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AndersonvilleNPS, Twitter www.twitter.com/andeNHS
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov