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Contact: Eric Leonard, 229 924-0343, ext. 201
Contact: Stephanie Steinhorst, 229 924-0343, ext. 203
ANDERSONVILLE, Georgia – Following General Sherman's decisive march to the coast, the prison population at Andersonville increased from a few hundred United States prisoners to over 5,000 men. Many of these prisoners had been held in numerous prisons across the South, and each man hoped never to see Andersonville again.That winter their worst fears were realized when they re-entered the dreaded stockade in December. At Andersonville they found a plowed stockade, and increased rules that reflected a concerted reorganization of the prison by its commander.
On January 1, 1865, Captain Henry Wirz issued a new set of rules and regulations for the prison under his control, hoping to curb escape attempts. The orders issued in January introduced two roll calls each day, and reintroduced the withholding of rations if a single prisoner was unaccounted for. Prisoners could request an audience with Wirz, but they were also reminded that no prisoner should cross the deadline, speak to a guard on post or purchase anything from the guards. To do otherwise, would risk being shot.
Join park staff and volunteers for special programs on the First Saturday of January (Saturday, January 3, 2015), to learn more about the 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: Departure
Join a park ranger on a guided walk following in the footsteps of the 45,000 United States soldiers held at 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 https://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.
1:00 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.
3:00 p.m. —Prison Site Talk: "Death Before Dishonor"
Captors of both sides recruited within their military prisons, looking for men desperate enough to switch their loyalties. This process became known as "galvanizing." Would you switch sides to change your life? Join a park ranger at the prison site to explore the choices prisoners made.
All programs are subject to change due to weather and other concerns.
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.