Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Society & Culture
  3. Social Issues

First Union prisoners arrived at Andersonville Prison

See also

On February 24, 1864, the first trainload of Union soldiers arrived at Camp Sumter, better known as Andersonville Prison in Georgia.

The stockade originally built to hold about 7,000 men, ended up being in operation for 14 months. Its overcrowded population grew to over 35,000 at one point in the summer of 1864.

About 100 prisoners died there each day as the population swelled. The first federal soldier to die while incarcerated in the Confederate prison was J. H. Swarner, Co. H of the 2nd New York Cavalry, who died on February 27, 1864. By the time the prison was finally shut down, 12,912 died at the facility.

They are buried nearby at the National Cemetery. The graves are marked with the man’s name and the number indicating the order in which he died. They were placed on the graves in mid-1865 by Clara Barton from a list of dead soldiers that had been kept by prisoner Dorance Atwater.

Andersonville was among over fifty Confederate prisons. Its death rate of nearly 29% was the highest of all prisons, in both the North and the South, during the Civil War.

Today the site is known as the Andersonville National Historic Site. The site also houses the National Prisoner of War Museum.

If you are interested in the Civil War, please subscribe to my posts by clicking on the “subscribe” button. Subscribing is free. You will receive an e-mail each time I post another article. Or “like” my articles on your Facebook/Twitter account.

Advertisement

Life

  • Dan Savage
    Dan Savage cares about LGBT youth, bullying and saving lives
    Today's Buzz
  • Raku
    Teachers and students can use this summer to learn a new skill
    Camera
    15 Photos
  • Beach body
    Fitness: Earn your beach body badge with bootcamp classes
    Camera
    10 Photos
  • Greek wine
    Unwind with these delicious wines: The thrilling wines of Greece
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Mandy Moore
    Exclusive interview with Celebrity Mandy Moore concerning animal activism
    Camera
    5 Photos
  • Educational family vacations
    Find out how to take an educational family vacation that doesn't break the bank
    Camera
    9 Photos