Andersonville, a village of Sumter co., Ga., on the Southwestern railroad, 62 m. S. of Macon; pop. in 1870, 1,346. It was during the war the seat of a Confederate States military prison, established by Capt. W. S. Winder, Nov. 27, 1863, at which time the population of the neighborhood did not exceed 20 persons. The site selected was a pine and oak grove of about 22 acres, on the side of a hill of red clay, 1,600 feet E. of the railroad. Near the base of the declivity was a stream of unwholesome water about 5 feet wide and not more than 6 inches deep. The trees were cut down and the enclosure was surrounded by a strong stockade 15 or 18 feet high. It was originally a parallelogram, 1,010 feet long by 779 feet wide, but in the summer of 1864 its length was increased to 1,620 feet. At the distance of 120 feet, surrounding the inner enclosure, was another palisade of rough pine logs, and between the two were sentry boxes overlooking the interior. A cordon of connected earthworks mounted with 17 guns, commanding the entire prison, surrounded the outer palisades. A wooden railing about 3 feet high around the inside of the stockade, and at an average distance of 19 feet from it, constituted the "dead line," prisoners passing which were summarily shot.

The stream above mentioned passed from W. to E. through the enclosure, and furnished the only water for washing accessible to the prisoners. Many acres bordering the stream on either side were trodden by the feet of the prisoners into a deep and filthy mire. Deducting the quagmire thus formed, about 300 feet wide, and the space cut off by the "dead line," the remaining space before the enlargement comprised about 12 acres, giving to each prisoner when the number reached 30,000 an average area of about 17 square feet. A small shed, covered but not enclosed, furnished the only protection from the inclemency of the weather. A few wells were sunk in the prison, and there were also a few springs. A second enclosure, 925 feet long and 400 feet wide, similar to the prison, was constructed in June, 1864, for a hospital; with the exception of a few old tents, it contained nothing but long sheds made of poles, with roofs of pine boughs or planks, and without sides. The bakery was within the two lines of palisades, and the cook house was 200 yards outside.

On the high land overlooking the prison were a two-story building for the confederate officers and men, and the huts for the guards, who numbered from 3,000 to 5,000. Near the railroad station a stockade measuring 195 by 108 feet was constructed, and for a while used as a prison for officers; but they were subsequently confined at Macon. Between the graveyard and the stockade stood a small hut in which nine bloodhounds were kept. The graveyard was situated about 300 yards N. W. of the stockade. Trenches varying in length from 50 to 100 yards having been dug, the bodies were laid in rows of 100 to 300 and covered with earth. At the head of each body a wooden stake was planted by the federal soldiers detailed to bury their companions, and each stake bore a number corresponding with a similarly numbered name upon the hospital record. The first detachment of federal prisoners was received at the Andersonville prison Feb. 15, 1864. Soon afterward John II. Winder, a brigadier general in the confederate army, assumed command of the post, with his son, W. S. Winder, as adjutant. The superintendence and management of the prison were assigned to Henry Wirz, a Swiss by birth.

The following exhibit from the prison records shows the number and mortality of prisoners:

Total number received at prison........................

49,485

Largest, number in prison at one time. Aug. 9,1864..........

33,006

Total number of deatbs as shown by hospital register.

12,462

" " in hospital.................................................

8,735

" " " in stockade.............

3,727

Percentage of deaths to whole number received................

26

" " to number admitted to hospital.

69 12/17

Average number of deaths for each of the 13 months.

953

Largest number of deaths in one day. Aug. 23, 1864.

97

Cases returned from hospital to stockade.....

3,469

Total number of escapes...................

328

DATE.

Total number at end of each month.

Number of deaths.

Average daily deaths.

Ratio of deaths to living.

Per cent, of deaths per month based on number in prison each month.

1864.

March..............

4,603

282

April.................................

9,577

592

1: 16

6

May................

18,454

711

23

1:26

4

June...................................

26,867

1,203

40

1:22

4

July...............

31,678

1,742

56

1:18

5

August.............................

31,693

2,992

97

1:11

9

September.......................

8,218

2,700

90

1:3

8

October...........................

4,208

1,560

50

1:2

13

November.......................

1,359

485

1:2

11

December........................

4,706

160

1:29

3

1865.

January............

5,046

200

1:25

4

February ...........

5,851

149

1:39

2

March..............................

3,319

118

1:28

2

April................................

51

32

1:2

3

12,926

Principal diseases and number of deaths resulting therefrom:

Diarrhœa........................

3,952

Scurry..............................

3.574

Dysentery........................

1,648

Unknown.............

1,268

Anasarca..........................

377

Typhoid fever....................

229

Pneumonia............

221

Debility...............

198

Intermittent and remittent fevers..........

177

Gun-shot wounds......

149

Pleurisy..............

109

Bronchitis..........................

93

Rheumatism...........

83

Varioloid..............

63

Gangrene.............................

63

Catarrh................................

55

Ulcers................

51

Phthisis..............................

36

In August, 1864, Dr. Joseph Jones, professor of chemistry in the medical college of Georgia, under the direction of the surgeon general of the confederacy, was sent to Andersonville to investigate the nature and cause of the sickness prevalent there, "for the benefit of the medical department of the Confederate States armies." The order, dated at Richmond, Aug. 6, 1864, recited that "the field of pathological investigation afforded by the large collection of federal prisoners in Georgia is of great extent and importance, and it is believed that results of value to the profession may be obtained by a careful investigation of the effects of disease upon the large body of men subjected to a decided change of climate and the circumstances peculiar to prison life." Dr. Jones reported that scurvy, diarrhoea, dysentery, and hospital gangrene were the prevailing diseases; that there were few cases of malarial fever and no well marked cases of typhus or typhoid fever. The absence of the different forms of malarial fever was accounted for by the supposition that the artificial atmosphere of the stockade, crowded densely with human beings and loaded with animal exhalations, was unfavorable to the existence and action of the malarial poison.

Subsequently, at the suggestion of Gen. Winder, an investigation was made by Dr. G. S. Hopkins and Surgeon II. E. Watkins, who reported the general causes of diseases and mortality as follows: "1. The large number of prisoners crowded together. 2. The entire absence of all vegetables as diet, so necessary as a preventive of scurvy. 3. The want of barracks to shelter the prisoners from sun and rain. 4. The inadequate supply of wood and good water. 5. Badly cooked food. C. The filthy condition of the prisoners and prison generally. 7. The morbific emanations from the branch or ravine passing through the prison, the condition of which cannot be better explained than by naming it a morass of human excrement and mud." Early in May, 1864, a report upon the condition of the prisoners was made by the confederate surgeon E. J. El-dridge, pursuant to instructions of Gen. Howell Cobb, and on July 5 an inspection report was submitted by Col. Chandler of the confederate war department. In these reports the sickness and mortality of the prisoners were attributed to the bad condition of the prison and its management.