Historic Markers Across Georgia


Marker ID: NPS 
Location: Andersonville NHS, Andersonville, GA
County: Macon
Coordinates: N 32° 11.768    W 084° 07.637
  32.19613333    -84.12728333
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMWJ14


Prisoner Shelters

Prisoners of Andersonville had to provide their own shelters. With sticks and pieces of clothing, the prisoners improvised leaky tents and lean tos. Many prisoners had no shelter at all.

Protection from rain, dew, and broiling sun became a matter of life or death. Exposure aggravated the many illnesses and infections, and contributed to the soaring mortality rate.

"To reach the spring we had to pick our way through a wilderness of low mud huts and tattered tents. The huts were made out of clay balls, and the tents of old army blankets, fragments of old clothing, oil cloths, etc." -- W. B. Smith 14th Illinois Infantry, October 11, 1864

The August 1864 photograph of this hillside shows a rough see of improvised shelters, which the prisoners called "shebangs". Overcrowding created prison within a prison: the men were confined by other living bodies as well by stockade walls.


For more information on Andersonville Prison (Camp Sumter):
Historical background about the infamous Andersonville Prison.
angelfire - Andersonville Civil War Prison
wikipedia - Andersonville Prison, February 1864 - April 1865
U.S. National Park Service - Andersonville National Historic Site
thewildgeese - Father Peter Whelan: Serving the Blue and the Gray
Wikipedia - Father Peter Whelan