Archaeologists help Andersonville dig up history





ANDERSONVILLE, Ga. — Archaeologists, Boy Scouts and volunteers have descended on Andersonville National Historic Site, intent upon gathering details of what life was like both inside and outside of the walls of the infamous Civil War prison.

Andersonville Prison, located north of Americus, was one of the largest Confederate military prisons established during the Civil War. It was built in 1864, and during its 14 months of existence confined more than 45,000 Union soldiers within its 26 acres of walled grounds. While incarcerated at the prison, nearly 13,000 Union soldiers died from disease, poor sanitation, malnutrition and exposure to the elements.

John Cornelison, an archaeologist with the NPS’ Southeast Archeological Center, is leading the team of researchers as they search for evidence of “she-bangs,” makeshift structures that Union prisoners dug into the ground to escape the heat of the beating sun within the walls of the prison.


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