Golden Thread Andersonville National Historic Site

Package4

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Were there any commanders of Union POW internment camps who where either tried ,if not hanged ,for the mistreatment of Confederate POWs? To the righteous of judgement falls on the side of victorious.
I am impartial when it comes to the ACW, well actually have Southern sympathies, but all Federal prisons had barracks. Andersonville had a saw mill and an incredible forest surrounding it then and now. The soil is extremely rich and would have provided vegetables grown with prison labor. Wirz was the only individual tried, convicted and hanged, in my opinion deservedly so. Federal soldiers were well clothed and fed prior to being captured and imprisoned in Andersonville, within an extremely short time, over 13,000 were dead.

Southern soldiers were not as well fed or clothed when captured, many already malnourished and when introduced to the cold of Illinois, Ohio, NY, DE and even Maryland the inevitable occurred.

I often portray a Southern prisoner at Point Lookout, Fort Delaware and sometimes Ft McHenry, they were housed much better than those at Andersonville, period.

IMHO there was no excuse for what happened at Andersonville, I visited back in '05 and it was one of the most moving moments of all NPS ACW Parks.

By the way @bdtex, great post, sorry I was late in seeing it!
 
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bdtex

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Hi.

I just joined the site last week, but I can address your comment. I just finished a book on the Raiders, which will be published by Stackpole Books and out next April.
Is that book still slated for publication next month?
 

Pete Longstreet

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Great post! I'm adding this to my list of sites to visit. I always found it very interesting that Commander Henry Wirz was executed for his oversight of Andersonville.
 

Jeff in Ohio

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My great great grandfather, Jesse S. Bower, was an Ohio infantryman captured at Guntown aka Brice's Crossroads in June, 1864 and he spent the rest of the War at Andersonville. I got a copy of his pension file. Because applicants for a pension needed to show their disabilities were service related, the paperwork required proof of medical treatment while in the service, or officer's affidavits. He was not treated in the service (he was sent home as soon as possible. Because Andersonville was an enlisted man's prison, there were no officers there who could give a statement, and so Jesse got more than a dozen detailed statements from other prisoners.
He lost all but one tooth to scurvy, and he was twice taken to the hospital in the winter of '64-'65. Not many men made it back from even one trip to the hospital, but he did survive, and fathered 8 children, including my great-grandmother Mary E. Anderson, who I remember well.
She told me he was a drummer in the GAR parades, and liked to lead the parade if he could!
 

scone

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I regret not seeing it in 2016. I was in Columbus for a few days, & just couldn't peel off the time to go. Instead of travelling to Andersonville, I opted for the Civil War Naval Museum also in Columbus. I went to the National Infantry Museum as well but, that was all that time allowed for. I may have another trip that way in the future. If I do, this is a stop I'm gonna try to plan for.
A must see both as well as the Infantry Museum at Fort Benning
 

scone

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Great post! I'm adding this to my list of sites to visit. I always found it very interesting that Commander Henry Wirz was executed for his oversight of Andersonville.
Yes sad he was. lot of guards died there as well .. he was not the devil that others see .. He should have shut down the raiders when they first started.
 

Pete Longstreet

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My great great grandfather, Jesse S. Bower, was an Ohio infantryman captured at Guntown aka Brice's Crossroads in June, 1864 and he spent the rest of the War at Andersonville. I got a copy of his pension file. Because applicants for a pension needed to show their disabilities were service related, the paperwork required proof of medical treatment while in the service, or officer's affidavits. He was not treated in the service (he was sent home as soon as possible. Because Andersonville was an enlisted man's prison, there were no officers there who could give a statement, and so Jesse got more than a dozen detailed statements from other prisoners.
He lost all but one tooth to scurvy, and he was twice taken to the hospital in the winter of '64-'65. Not many men made it back from even one trip to the hospital, but he did survive, and fathered 8 children, including my great-grandmother Mary E. Anderson, who I remember well.
She told me he was a drummer in the GAR parades, and liked to lead the parade if he could!
Great story. I enjoyed reading.
 

J C J Barefoot

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My great great grandfather, Jesse S. Bower, was an Ohio infantryman captured at Guntown aka Brice's Crossroads in June, 1864 and he spent the rest of the War at Andersonville. I got a copy of his pension file. Because applicants for a pension needed to show their disabilities were service related, the paperwork required proof of medical treatment while in the service, or officer's affidavits. He was not treated in the service (he was sent home as soon as possible. Because Andersonville was an enlisted man's prison, there were no officers there who could give a statement, and so Jesse got more than a dozen detailed statements from other prisoners.
He lost all but one tooth to scurvy, and he was twice taken to the hospital in the winter of '64-'65. Not many men made it back from even one trip to the hospital, but he did survive, and fathered 8 children, including my great-grandmother Mary E. Anderson, who I remember well.
She told me he was a drummer in the GAR parades, and liked to lead the parade if he could!
I also have a great great grandfather that wa in Andersonville and was also captured at Guntown in June 1864. He was in the The Ohio 72nd and was from Pemberville Ohio. His name was Henry Basor. His brother in law of the same regiment John Purcell died in August of 64 and is buried there.
Do you no your GGFathers regiment?
 

John S. Carter

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I am impartial when it comes to the ACW, well actually have Southern sympathies, but all Federal prisons had barracks. Andersonville had a saw mill and an incredible forest surrounding it then and now. The soil is extremely rich and would have provided vegetables grown with prison labor. Wirz was the only individual tried, convicted and hanged, in my opinion deservedly so. Federal soldiers were well clothed and fed prior to being captured and imprisoned in Andersonville, within an extremely short time, over 13,000 were dead.

Southern soldiers were not as well fed or clothed when captured, many already malnourished and when introduced to the cold of Illinois, Ohio, NY, DE and even Maryland the inevitable occurred.

I often portray a Southern prisoner at Point Lookout, Fort Delaware and sometimes Ft McHenry, they were housed much better than those at Andersonville, period.

IMHO there was no excuse for what happened at Andersonville, I visited back in '05 and it was one of the most moving moments of all NPS ACW Parks.

By the way @bdtex, great post, sorry I was late in seeing it!
What I have read of the commandant of Andersonville ,alcoholic,spoke in a German accent that his command could not understand.and totally unqualified for this command ,then it is not difficult to understand what happened.The military gave him no assistance and the guards were military rejects with great hostilities towards Yankees..The worse of it was when Grant assumed command of the Union armies and halted all POW exchanges.It was difficult to feed its own army how was the Confederacy to feed and supply the POW camps as a result of this policy of Grant's.? I am not finding reasons just a little Mercy for the Devil.
 
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Is that book still slated for publication next month?

They changed the release date on The Andersonville Raiders and it came out last Sunday. :D

To be fair to Wirz, the Raiders began their crime spree at Belle Isle, before Andersonville was even open, so you can’t really blame their formation on him.

As near as I can tell, rhere was only one baby born at Camp Sumter, to a Mrs. Janie Turner, who followed her husband into captivity, but the baby was born outside the stockade, not in it. Robert Scott Davis spends a lot of time tracking them down in his book, Ghosts and Shadows of Andersonville.

Sorry it took me a while to reply.
 

Package4

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What I have read of the commandant of Andersonville ,alcoholic,spoke in a German accent that his command could not understand.and totally unqualified for this command ,then it is not difficult to understand what happened.The military gave him no assistance and the guards were military rejects with great hostilities towards Yankees..The worse of it was when Grant assumed command of the Union armies and halted all POW exchanges.It was difficult to feed its own army how was the Confederacy to feed and supply the POW camps as a result of this policy of Grant's.? I am not finding reasons just a little Mercy for the Devil.
Again, there was plentiful woodland and a sawmill, why no barracks, the area is extremsly fertile, why no prisoner gardens? Union prisoners were healthy and well clothed entering Andersonville, yet within 14 months 13,000+ would die.
 

Jeff in Ohio

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I also have a great great grandfather that was in Andersonville and was also captured at Guntown in June 1864. He was in the The Ohio 72nd and was from Pemberville Ohio. His name was Henry Basor. His brother in law of the same regiment John Purcell died in August of 64 and is buried there.
Do you no your GGFathers regiment?

My great-great grandfather Jesse S. Bower enlisted in Company B of the 95th Ohio on at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio on February 9, 1864; Company B of the 95th Ohio was made up of men from Madison County and Fairfield County, Ohio. He was captured June 10th. After he was freed from Andersonville in April, 1865, he was transported in May, 1865 to Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio, and was later transferred for record keeping purposes to Company B of the 72nd Ohio on July 22, 1865. I believe those two regiments were raised in the same part of Ohio.
I know I learned in some general research of a couple of regiments (not Ohio, I don't think) that existed only to enroll freed prisoners, men picked up here and there apart from their units, and they were put on a roll of a unit created to be a paper unit so they could keep track of (and feed and pay and transport) these various solders. I think Jesse was put on the roll of the 72nd Ohio for this same purpose.
 

J C J Barefoot

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My great-great grandfather Jesse S. Bower enlisted in Company B of the 95th Ohio on at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio on February 9, 1864; Company B of the 95th Ohio was made up of men from Madison County and Fairfield County, Ohio. He was captured June 10th. After he was freed from Andersonville in April, 1865, he was transported in May, 1865 to Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio, and was later transferred for record keeping purposes to Company B of the 72nd Ohio on July 22, 1865. I believe those two regiments were raised in the same part of Ohio.
I know I learned in some general research of a couple of regiments (not Ohio, I don't think) that existed only to enroll freed prisoners, men picked up here and there apart from their units, and they were put on a roll of a unit created to be a paper unit so they could keep track of (and feed and pay and transport) these various solders. I think Jesse was put on the roll of the 72nd Ohio for this same purpose.
Jeff-
Well our great-great grandfathers would have very likely known each other. My great great grandfather Henry Basor enlisted in 1861. The 72nd was on the far right line on the opening attack of Shiloh. They also fought with the 95th on the two ordered attacks on Vicksburg.
The 72nd had been given 60 days furlough in Feb of 1864 as a reward for reenlistment. Henry Basor went home to Pemberville and when he returned , his brother in law John Purcell enlisted for the first time. I believe that Bower and Purcell were responding to another call up by the Ohio Governor. Both the 95th and 72nd were engaged at Brices Cross Road against Forrest. A review of the battlefield map shows the 72nd on the extreme Union left and the 95th to the next right of the 72nd. Basor, Bower and Purcell were captured on the same day and taken to Andersonville. Purcell died in August , see grave stone below. Basor --who was in Company D was also taken to Camp Chase in May of 1865 and was mustered out on June 22nd of 1865. It's difficult to think they did not know each other given the terrible death and sickness that went on. Basor lived into his early 80's and I have local paper clips of his obituary. Where did Jesse ended up living after the war?

IMG_0916.JPG
 

bdtex

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They changed the release date on The Andersonville Raiders and it came out last Sunday. :D
I ordered it today. Can't wait to get it and dig in.
 

bdtex

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Thanks @Buckeye Bill for the Golden Thread nomination and @ami for featuring the thread. Guess y'all hid the voting from me. :D I still feel blessed to have been able to visit Andersonville when I did and have a couple hours there. Memorable day. Could be some years,if ever, before I make it back.
 
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