"An outstanding study of Andersonville--both a vivid description of the conditions that resulted in high mortality among the prisoners as well as a balanced and unbiased evaluation of the officials responsible."--Journal of Southern History
"Futch has carefully sifted through a host of unofficial memoirs, letters, and diaries as well as official records to develop an intriguing account of what happened at Andersonville."--Civil War History
In February 1864, five hundred Union prisoners of war arrived at the Confederate stockade at Anderson Station, Georgia. Andersonville, as it was later known, would become legendary for its brutality and mistreatment, with the highest mortality rate--over 30 percent--of any Civil War prison.
Fourteen months later, 32,000 men were imprisoned there. Most of the prisoners suffered greatly because of poor organization, meager supplies, the Federal governmentâ€™s refusal to exchange prisoners, and the cruelty of men supporting a government engaged in a losing battle for survival.
Who was responsible for allowing so much squalor, mismanagement, and waste at Andersonville? Looking for an answer, Ovid Futch cuts through charges and countercharges that have made the camp a subject of bitter controversy. He examines diaries and firsthand accounts of prisoners, guards, and officers, and both Confederate and Federal government records (including the transcript of the trial of Capt. Henry Wirz, the alleged "fiend of Andersonville"). First published in 1968, this groundbreaking volume has never gone out of print.
Ovid Futch taught at Morehouse College in Atlanta and finished his career as chair of the Department of History at the University of South Florida. Michael P. Gray, assistant professor of history at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, is the author of The Business of Captivity: Elmira and Its Civil War Prison, a Seaborg Award honorable mention recipient.
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"â€¦the addition of Gray's helpful introduction to an already influential work makes this volume along with Hesseltine's an essential starting point for those interested in the unpleasant -- yet vital -- topics of Civil War prisons." Journal of the Civil War Era