Historic Markers Across Georgia


Marker ID: NPS 
Location: Andersonville NHS, Andersonville, GA
County: Macon
Coordinates: N 32° 11.747    W 084° 07.622
  32.19578333    -84.12703333
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMWJ12



Sentry boxes or "pigeon-roosts" were mounted every 100 feet along the top of the stockade. The guards there had orders to shoot any prisoner who crossed the deadline. Otherwise they had little control over conditions inside.

Perched above the camp, the guards themselves became prisoners of tedium and anxiety -- always fearful of prisoner uprising or Union cavalry attack. After a while the noise, the stench, and the view across acres of ragged men and shelters must have numbed the senses.

The guards also suffered from many of the same health problems as the prisoners, resulting in high death rate in that group as well.


The guards -- mostly old men and young boys from the Georgia Reserve Corps -- were reluctant witnesses to the misery at Andersonville. More seasoned troops were sent to stop Sherman's drive toward Atlanta.

"Each of the guards faced the vast mass of prisoners and was ordered to closely watch the deadline before and below him halfway to his comrade on his right and left."
-– John L. Maile, 8th Michigan Infantry, May 22, 1864

Local townspeople sometimes came to gawk at the prisoners.


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