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The most witnessed execution in U.S. history

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Date: November 1, 2018
Contact: Jody Mays, 229-924-0343 ext 115

The most witnessed execution in U.S. history

ANDERSONVILLE, Georgia – It was the most witnessed execution in U.S. history. On a sultry July evening in 1864 in Southwest Georgia, six Union prisoners of war were executed by their own for robbing and assaulting their fellow prisoners. These six, part of a larger group called the "Raiders", were hanged on a single gallows. Who were these six men and what did they do to merit the death penalty? Were they truly criminals or merely victims of their circumstances, struggling to survive? What role, if any, did Confederate prison officials play in their deaths? These questions and others will be answered during special programs offered at Andersonville National Historic Site on Saturday, November 10th at the park’s annual Night Museum event.

At 2:00 p.m. Alan Marsh, former park Cultural Resource Specialist, will lead visitors on a special guided tour of Andersonville National Cemetery. The park will close at 5:00 p.m. but then re-open for a special night of additional programs from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Experience the deadliest ground of the Civil War by the soft glow of candlelit lanterns and campfires. Talk to living historians portraying Union prisoners and Confederate guards. Roam the halls of the National Prisoner of War Museum in the quiet of the night.

At 7:00 p.m. author Gary Morgan will share the real story behind the Andersonville Raiders. Morgan is a high school History and English teacher in Western Massachusetts who also works as a freelance writer. A chance encounter with the diary and letters of Civil War Sailor and prisoner of war (POW) Frederic Augustus James led to a curiosity about the six men hanged at Andersonville Prison while James was a POW there. The upcoming book The Andersonville Raiders is the result of two years of research, trying to uncover the truth behind these men.

At 8:00 p.m. join Park Guide Ryan O’Connell on the prison grounds to learn “How the Plymouth Pilgrims saved Andersonville”. Anytime from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. visit our Junior Ranger station to explore the night sky and earn a special Night Explorer patch.

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. with the museum open from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information on the park, call 229 924-0343, visit on the web at, or find us on Facebook at

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

Last updated: November 2, 2018

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Mailing Address:

Andersonville National Cemetery
National Prisoner of War Museum
496 Cemetery Road

Andersonville, GA 31711


(229) 924-0343

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