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In January 1864, local slaves were brought in to clear the land and to build the stockade.The Prison encompassed 16.5 acres, with a small creek flowing through the site to provide water. The capacity of prisoners that could be held there was estimated to be 10,000.He liked what he saw: plenty of water near at hand, located near a railhead and situated in the Deep South, far away from the Union armies.

During our Civil War in many prison camps, both North and South, prisoners of war (POWs) were treated wretchedly with inadequate shelter, clothing and food. The vast tragedy at Andersonville came about for a number of reasons.What they received, if they were lucky, was rancid grain and a spoonful or two of peas or beans.To be fair, the Confederates during this stage of the war had a great deal of difficulty providing rations to their own troops.The first Union prisoners were shipped to it in February 1864.With heavy fighting that began in May as Grant battled his way towards Richmond, the number of prisoners swelled to well beyond the capacity of the prison.

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