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Contact: Stephanie Steinhorst , 229 924-0343, ext. 203
Park staff and volunteers explore prisoner desperation at Andersonville
ANDERSONVILLE, Georgia – The month of August in 1864 marked the dramatic climax of the notorious military prison at Andersonville.When Pvt. Francis Hosmer arrived that month he remembered, "we stood in the midst of a tangled mat of humanity, of thirty thousand men or more, apparently, all strangers to each other, and to us…each apparently struggling against the adverse fate they were powerless to avert, and all praying that powerful entity, the United States government to come to their relief."The prison population reached an all-time high of over 32,000 prisoners, and the scorching heat of the summer only compounded the disastrous conditions, claiming almost 100 lives a day.Relief came in only two ways that month; a storm that washed over the prison site and revealed a spring that prisoners called "providential" and rumors of liberation under General Sherman approach gave hope to the desperate men.While the spring water aided the prisoners, freedom was not so easily gained.
Join park staff and volunteers for special programs on the First Saturday of August (Saturday, August 2, 2014), to learn more about the worst month at Andersonville Prison. There is no admission fee and all programs are open to the public.
10:00 a.m. — Special Program—The Road To Andersonville: Arrival
Join a park ranger on a guided walk following in the footsteps of the 45,000 United States soldiers who entered into Andersonville prison from 1864-1865. The tour begins at the National Prisoner of War Museum at Andersonville National Historic Site and lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes. The tour starts promptly at 10:00 a.m. Reservations are required for this program and may be obtained online at http://go.nps.gov/roadtoandersonville
11:00 a.m. — Prison Site Walk
Join longtime volunteer Jimmy Culpepper at the Wisconsin Monument to explore the history of the prison site.
2:00 p.m. — Ranger program: Fort Delaware Military Prison
In the museum theater, park ranger Stephanie Steinhorst will discuss the history of Fort Delaware Military Prison and the experiences of southern soldiers and civilians on an island prison.
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/ Visit us 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.