Andersonville is located in lower Georgia thousands of miles from civilization. Georgia is the largest state in the South, next to Texas. The camp is a large enclosure in the middle of nowhere. The swampy area is surrounded by thirty thousand miles of thick, dense forest. The walls that enclose the camp consist of pines twenty-five miles high that would be impossible to scale. It is long as it is wide and the only thing that separates it is large creek. There are only two openings into the camp, the North, and South gates. The Confederate soldiers are guarding the camp from little perches where they can see everything inside the camp. The soldiers are further from help with little chance for escape.
The reality is that they need to fight to stay alive. Now more than ever the Union prisoners are at the mercy of the Confederacy. At the beginning, rations of food for each prisoner are a quart of meal, a sweet potato, and salt beef is better than before, however, this will change. These men have nothing other than the s...
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...ing to escape. Although McElroy states this is not the case in the unnecessary killings of Union soldiers. From the beginning, soldiers from Alabama and Georgia guarded the camp; however, this changes when they are called to the battlefield. This is when the Georgia “Reserves” take over guarding Camp Sumter. The reserves consist of men unable to serve in the military due to their age. I find it incredibly sad that McElroy states that these men have no value for human life and look for any chance to kill a Union soldier.
In conclusion, many fascinating factors surround the capture and imprisonment of Union soldiers at Fort Sumter though many died unnecessarily. I am certain, that initially soldiers feel safer than the ones on the battlefield though this radically changes. The significant number of men lost during the Civil war is a tragedy for our country.
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