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Andersonville in Macon County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Prisoner Burials

 
 
Prisoner Burials Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 6, 2021
1. Prisoner Burials Marker
Inscription.  The prisoners' headstones are only inches apart. As the death rate at Andersonville escalated to 100 per day, officials abandoned the use of pine-box coffins and had the bodies buried shoulder to shoulder in trenches.

At first only numbered stakes marked the prisoners' graves. The dead might have remained unidentified except for the efforts of Dorence Atwater, a former prisoner.

Prison officials assigned Dorence Atwater to keep records of the dead. Hoping to notify bereaved relatives after the war, Atwater made a second copy of the death list, which he smuggled out in the lining of his jacket. When he accompanied Clara Barton to Andersonville in July 1865, they were able to match his list with the numbered stakes. Each prisoner could then be honored by name.

”If a man died in good clothes he was buried nearly naked. The living needed apparel; the dead none.”
G. E. Reynolds, 86th Ohio Infantry, August 3, 1864
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesWar, US Civil
Marker Background Photo: Prisoner Burials image. Click for full size.
2. Marker Background Photo: Prisoner Burials
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Women. In addition, it is included in the Clara Barton, and the National Cemeteries series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1865.
 
Location. 32° 12.1′ N, 84° 7.904′ W. Marker is in Andersonville, Georgia, in Macon County. Marker is on Cemetery Road 0.4 miles north of Prison Site Road, on the right when traveling north. Marker is located on the south side of Andersonville National Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 760 POW Road, Andersonville GA 31711, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Andersonville National Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Grave Markers (within shouting distance of this marker); New York State Monument (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Massive Monuments (about 400 feet away); Memorial to American Former Prisoners of War Stalag XVII-B (about 600 feet away); The Raiders' Graves (about 600 feet away); In Memory of ... (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Unknown Soldier (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Andersonville.
 
Also see . . .
1. Myths of Civil War Prisons. The military prisons of the Civil War, especially the most famous one, have long been the subject
Marker detail: Prisoner Burial Illustration image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Prisoner Burial Illustration
of mythology and misconception, beginning in the years immediately following the end of the war. (Submitted on May 12, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Dorence Atwater. Around half of all Civil War dead are today marked in unknown or unmarked graves, and the rate is higher in most southern prisons. However, thanks to the work of Atwater and the other paroled clerks to maintain accurate records, and his courage to secretly copy and sneak the list out at great personal risk, around ninety five percent of the prisoner graves at Andersonville are marked. (Submitted on May 12, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Clara Barton and Andersonville. At Andersonville in July and August of 1865, Atwater and Barton began to search for missing soldiers in the Andersonville Death Register and captured hospital records. While laborers worked to erect headboards in the cemetery, Barton wrote dozens of letters informing families that their loved ones had died at Andersonville. At the end of the expedition, Barton was given the honor of raising the American flag for the first time over the recently established Andersonville National Cemetery. (Submitted on May 12, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Marker detail: Dorence Atwater image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Dorence Atwater
Prison officials assigned Dorence Atwater to keep records of the dead.
Prisoner Burials Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 6, 2021
5. Prisoner Burials Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 12, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 10, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 52 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on May 10, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 12, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Jun. 20, 2021