Andersonville - Hollywood vs. Reality

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by AutumnNB
Last updated 6 years ago

Social Studies
American History

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Andersonville - Hollywood vs. Reality


Andersonville held more prisoners at any given time than any of the other Confederate military prisons. It was built in early 1864 after Confederate officials decided to move the large number of Federal prisoners in and around Richmond to a place of greater security and more abundant food. During the 14 months it existed, more than 45,000 Union soldiers were confined here. Of these, almost 13,000 died from disease, poor sanitation, malnutrition, overcrowding, or exposure to the elements.

Life in Andersonville

About the Prison Camp



-Captian Henry Wertz, the Confederate inncharge of opperations at the camp, is depicted as a cruel torturing prison gaurd who starved and harmed Unioners as punishment. It would seem that Wertz had every opportunity to improve living conditions for soldiers but didnot out of rage or his thirst for power.-The administration at the camp is shown as giving no aid of any kind to the prisoners when it came to health or nourishment. Not even a attempt was made to keep men alive or well.-The Raiders at the camp were a contant strain to life at the camp throughout the movie.

-Captian Henry Wertz was not the only man tried for war crimes after the Civil War but he was the most popular. His supporters cliam thathe did everything within his power to improve living conditions for prisioners but it was impossible. There was a lack of food supply and spacefor the constant flow of prisioners coming in and a lack of negotiations for prisoner exchanges in with the Union.-There was an attempt to provide medical care for wounded or ill prisioners but the number of men falling ill from the living conditions withingthe camp.-The Raiders were tried and hung for their crimes against their comrades in a trial hosted by fellow prisioners. While this is accurately displayed in the movie their role in everyday prison life is exajurated.


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