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Monday, May 12, 2014

Andersonville Civil War Village, and the POW Museum and Civil War Prison

I stayed at the Andersonville City Park campground in mid-April, on a beautiful spring weekend, to explore Andersonville GA. It's a pleasant small campground right in town. $18/night, and you register at the Visitors Center at the Drummer Boy Museum.

I set up camp and set out to explore Andersonville.
The first thing I did after setting up was to walk to the Drummer Boy Museum.

Lots of artifacts
and mannequins
dressed in
Civil War attire,
and a model of
Andersonville Prison
in the middle of the room.

There is also a pioneer farm, which includes the original jail, a blacksmith shop, and a functional mill.
This is the Cherokee Rose, Georgia's State Flower.
At the entrance to the RV park is the Old School House Antique Shop, one of several in town.
I was there browsing when a local man came in to show the people there what he'd scored at a yard sale: Some 27 volumes of Little Leather Library books. Yes, once upon a time you could get a tiny book of Shakespeare along with your Whitman's Chocolates.
I was charmed by the architecture and landscaping of this historic log church just downhill from the campground.
When I left Andersonville, I visited the Andersonville National Historical Site. This includes the POW museum, dedicated to POWs in all wars.

Prisoners would arrive in Andersonville by train and be marched to the main gate of the prison.
There really was no prison. Whatever could be scrounged served as housing.
The only water source was a sluggish stream through the middle of the prison camp, with the latrines downstream but other sources of pollution upstream.
"In desperation, a group of soldiers began to pray for water. Soon, a storm broke out, and thunder roared, and where lightning struck the prison ground, a fountain of pure spring water erupted. Whether it was the prayer or construction of the prison that caused the underground water to well up, no one knows, but that clean water saved the lives of thousands of Union soldiers, and continues to flow to this day." (quote is from site linked.)

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