About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Andersonville National Historic Site" (with photographs), park documents, and publications. It was written by Alan Marsh, former supervisory Park Ranger at Andersonville National Historic Site. Mr. Marsh is now the site's cultural resource specialist. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: The lesson could be used in units on the Civil War or on prisoners of war. Students will strengthen their skills of interpretive reading, analysis of visual data, and synthesis of disparate forms of data.
Time period: Late 19th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To describe living conditions in a Civil War prison camp and the causes of these conditions.
2) To discuss methods used by prisoners to cope with the prison environment and conditions.
3) To explain how value systems influence attitudes and behavior of prisoners of war.
4) To examine Andersonville's emotional impact on the nation during the post-war months.
5) To identify the location of prisoner of war camps in their community or region.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
1) two maps of Civil War prison camps, and Andersonville, Georgia;
2) two readings on Andersonville Prison and life as a prisoner of war;
3) two drawings of the site and a picture drawn from the memory of an Andersonville prisoner;
4) two historic photographs of Andersonville Prison.
Visiting the site
Andersonville National Historic Site is located 10 miles northeast of Americus on Georgia Highway 49. The 482-acre park consists of the site of Andersonville Prison and a national cemetery. A visitor center and museum contain information on Civil War prisons and the overall prisoner of war story. The grounds are open daily from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The visitor center and museum are closed New Year's Day and Christmas Day. For more information, write to Andersonville National Historic Site, Route 1, Box 800, Andersonville, GA 31711, or
visit the park's web pages.