Home > General Military Cemeteries > Andersonville National Cemetery

Andersonville National Cemetery within the Andersonville National Historic Site is a place of honor, a dedication to remember those who suffered in P.O.W. camps during the Civil War and a place of learning. The cemetery was established on July 26, 1865 and first served as a final resting place for the many men who died in what was then known as the Fort Sumter Prison Camp and then also for Union soldiers who died in nearby hospitals or other prison campus or on battlefields in Georgia. By 1868 it contained over 13,800 graves. The initial burials were done in trenches and without coffins to accommodate the very large numbers of prisoners who had perished in the last year of the war – thus the tightly spaced headstones. Prisoner Dorence Atwater of New York had kept meticulous records of the names of the more than 12,000 who had died and in July 1865 Clara Barton and a contingent arrived to insure the graves were properly marked. Using Atwater’s records, most graves were identified and only 460 gravesites are listed a “unknown U.S. soldier.” The site returned to private ownership in 1875 but was purchased by the Georgia Department of the Grand Army of the Republic (a Union veterans organization) in 1890 and then sold to the Women’s Relief Corps (the national auxiliary of the G.A.R.) who maintained it until 1910 when it was donated to the United States. The site has been administered by the National Park Service since 1971. Within the cemetery and site are many large monuments erected by states who lost soldiers at Andersonville; these monuments are listed separately within this web site. (A search using Andersonville will list them.)
AndersonvilleCemetery

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