Why the Prison Camps During the American Civil War Were So Terrible

Topics: American Civil War, Confederate States of America, Prisoner-of-war camp Pages: 3 (1091 words) Published: May 19, 2003
The prison camps of the American Civil War were terrible due to the falling apart of prisoner exchange programs, the decline of paroles available for officers, and poor war strategies by both sides. Camps were scattered across the country in both the North and the South. The best known of the Union camps were; Fortress Monroe, Virginia; Ohio State Penitentiary, Ohio and point Lookout, Maryland. The better known of the Confederate camps were; Danville, Virginia; Libby Prison, Richmond, Virginia and Andersonville, Georgia. Conditions where many inmates died would send chills down the spine of anyone in this day and age. The camps ended up so crowded there wasn't enough space to shelter every inmate, some died of exposure to the elements, and others of malnutrition for the camp didn't have enough food for every prisoner. Some people died of diseases through poor sanitation, the grounds were dirty, barely cleaned, the inmates lived in their own muck.

The Andersonville prison in Georgia was built in 1864 . The original structure covered 16.5 acres, with a 15 foot wall surrounding it . Later that year it was increased to 26.5 acres and made to a parallelogram shape . Sentry boxes ere stationed every 30 yards along the fence . White posts marked a line, 19 feet from the wall all the way around the inside, if crossed by a prisoner they would be killed . A stream called "Stockade Branch" ran through the stockade and supplied most of the water for the camp. The camp was designed to hold 13,000 prisoners but in August of 1864 confined a total of 32,000 men ! Over its 14 months of existence it contained a total of 45,000 Union soldiers . Almost 13,000 of these died, from diseases, such as Gangrene, Scurvy and Dysentery, malnutrition, poor sanitation, and constant biting of flies and mosquitoes, overcrowding or exposure to the elements . The prisoners had meager shelters built stacked near open sewers causing intoxication of another level from the diseases that dwelled...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • The American Civil war: Why the South lost, and the North won Essay
  • Canada During the American Civil War Essay
  • Why the American Civil War Was Necessary Essay
  • "Why was the civil war so long and so bloody?" Essay
  • The American Civil War Essay
  • American History
  • African-Americans in the Civil War Essay
  • Essay about African Americans in the Civil War

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free