Living History Weekend

Living historians demonstrate firing a cannon
Living historians demonstrate firing a cannon during Living History Weekend.

NPS/Hugh Peacock

Step into history during our annual Living History Weekend!

Andersonville National Historic Site holds a Living History Weekend each year in March. During this event, living historians and park staff share stories of United States prisoners, Confederate guards, and civilians at Andersonville prison during the last months of the Civil War.

Living historians are volunteers who use historical clothing, accessories, and living conditions to give impressions of the past. While modern citizens can never truly capture the brutal intensity of a Civil War prison, these individuals attempt to convey the sense of desperation, isolation, hopes, and fears that define captivity.

Each living history weekend strives to present different aspects of the prison experience. Weekends can also feature guest speakers and on-site programs about the use of artillery at a prison, the role of Catholic priests or Masons in aiding the prisoners, and the complex views held by Southern civilian women on the condition of Yankee prisoners. Living historians offer a valuable opportunity for families to discuss the causes and effects of the Civil War. This event also reminds us that not all soldiers perished in battle and that each soldier possessed the power to end or save lives. Prison life offers many chances to consider the burden of following orders and the opportunities for mercy or murder during war.

 
Four men in ragged Civil War era clothes sit on the ground under a makeshift shelter.
Living historians portray Union prisoners at Andersonville during Living History Weekend.

NPS/Hugh Peacock

 

Living History Weekend 2016

Living History Weekend will occur on March 12th and 13th, 2016 at Andersonville National Historic Site. Living historians will be present in the site from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 12th, and from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 13th. You can stop and speak with prisoners, guards, and civilians. Visit the Civil War medical tent or talk to a local clergyman who ministered to the prisoners. Each represents a different perspective of the prison site and its inhabitants, and not everyone agreed. Talk to them and decide who you think is right.

Please be respectful of the history of this site and the soldiers who died here. Do not walk, sit, or climb on monuments, headstones, or earthworks.

Kids, visit the Junior Ranger Station tent to get a copy of our activity book and earn your own badge!

2016 Schedule of Activities

Entry into the park and all programs are free. Please note that all programs are subject to change. Call the park at 229-924-0343 for more information.

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

10:00 a.m. Prisoner Arrivals and Roll Call
10:30 a.m. Artillery Talk and Demonstration
11:00 a.m. Father Whelan
11:30 a.m. Infantry Demonstration
12:00 p.m. Prison Talk
12:30 p.m. Distribution of Rations
1:00 p.m. "Before Andersonville: The Belle Isle Prison Camp"
1:45 p.m. Infantry Demonstration
2:15 p.m. Memorial Ceremony for Skip Wells Featuring Congressman Bishop
3:00 p.m. Father Whelan
3:30 p.m. Artillery Talk and Demonstration
4:00 p.m. Prisoners March Out for Exchange

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

10:00 a.m. Prisoner Arrivals and Roll Call
10:30 a.m. Artillery Talk and Demonstration
11:00 a.m. Father Whelan
11:30 a.m. Infantry Demonstration
12:00 p.m. Prison Talk
12:30 p.m. Distribution of Rations
1:30 p.m. Father Whelan
2:00 p.m. Infantry Demonstrations
2:30 p.m. Artillery Demonstrations
3:00 p.m. Prisoners March Out for Exchange

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Andersonville National Cemetery
National Prisoner of War Museum
496 Cemetery Road

Andersonville, GA 31711

Phone:

(229) 924-0343
Main park phone number.

Contact Us