Historic Markers Across Georgia

Earthwork Defenses

Marker ID: NPS 
Location: Andersonville NHS, Andersonville, GA
County: Macon
Coordinates: N 32° 11.880    W 084° 07.653
  32.198    -84.12755
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMWJ0Z


Earthwork Defenses

Half the cannon faced outward to defend against Union cavalry raids - spinoffs from Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. The other half were loaded with canister and trained on the prison grounds.

When the prison was operating, deep ditches fronted the earthworks. Palisades closed the rear of these V-shaped gun emplacements.

Time and erosion have modified the elaborate earthwork defenses, but the outlines are still visible. As you tour Andersonville, study the system of defenses, including the rifle-pits and Star Fort. The design reflects the prison officers' state of mind -- the fear of uprising from the inside and attack from the outside.

"We have here largely over 24,000 prisoners of war, and 1,205 very raw troops -- with the measles prevailing, badly armed and worse disciplined -- to guard them. With the present force, a raid on the post would almost of necessity be successful."
-- Brig. Gen. John Henry Winder, Prison Commander


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