The Infamous Civil War Prison Andersonville Essay

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The Infamous Civil War Prison Andersonville

The Confederacy established Andersonville, that most infamous of Civil War prisons, in late February, 1864. It built a stockade in west central Georgia to accommodate approximately 10,000 prisoners of war. As the fighting moved ever deeper into the South in the last year of the war, the expanded stockade at one point held nearly 33,000 Union soldiers. The termination by the North of the prisoner of war exchanges which had existed previously and the continually depleting resources of the Confederacy left these prisoners stranded in miserable conditions.

By the end of the war, 13,000 of the total 45,000 prisoners had died. They were buried in shallow trench graves with numbers to identify
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The entire regiment, except for one group on scout was captured at Union City, Tennessee on March 24, 1864 by a detachment of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest's regiment under the command of Col. William L. Duckworth. The captured men were mainly from Carroll, Henderson and McNairy Counties with some recruits from Henry, Weakley, Benton, Madison, Gibson, Hardin, and Decatur counties. These men suffered horribly during the time they were prisoners. Two-thirds of them died within a year of the capture. Their high mortality rate can be attibuted both to the prison to which they were sent and to the actions of their captors.

One group within the captors of the 7th Tennessee Cavalry USA was the 7th Tennessee Cavalry CSA. Both groups were primarily West Tennesseans and there was intense ill feeling between them. Some men were neighbors and personally knew each other. For the 7th Tennessee USA, the humiliation was almost total. Colonel Duckworth tricked them into surrender when help was nearby. And, it was the second time that Forrest's men had forced them to surrender. The first time at Trenton in December, 1862, they had been paroled and had spent their time at Camp Chase, Ohio. Some members of the regiment, who were captured at Ripley and Mt. Pinson, Tennesse, had even spent a short time in Richmond, Virginia in 1863 before being parolled once again. By March 1864, however, the Lincoln government had stopped the exchanges. This time there…

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