Georgia's Civil War legacy

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of June 6-12, 1996
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Georgia's Civil War legacy
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Georgia's Civil War legacy
Question: What can you tell me about the museum at Andersonville National Historic Site?

June Strojny
Boston, MA
[email protected]

Adventure Adviser: Well, a bunch of things. The largest Confederate military prison of the Civil War, Andersonville housed more than 45,000 prisoners, of whom 13,000 died because of the poor conditions.

While the museum doesn't provide an exhaustive history, it does offer a brief, but solid, overview of the prison via a short film, interpretive exhibits, and small bookstore. Outside the museum, check out the reconstructed prison wall and the various monument and plaques around the grounds--all of which will give you a pretty good idea of what the typical Union prisoner's life was like inside the stockade. The museum staff can give you suggestions on self-guided driving or walking tours throughout the area.

The National Cemetery, about a half-mile north of town, is worth a stop--with the graves of about 12,000 prisoners who died there. You'll be spared an entrance fee and while there's ample picnic sites, there's no camping within the park--you'll have to go to the RV park in town for that. The National Historic Site, about two-and-a-half hours south of Atlanta on Georgia 49 in Macon County, is open from 8 to 5 p.m. daily and the museum, 8:30 to 5:30. For more info, call 912-924-0343.

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