Thursday, August 4, 2011
I had mentioned when I made the Florida trip that I had four goals in mind, to see the Atlantic Ocean, to go to Tallahassee, to see the Gulf of Mexico, and to go to Warm Springs, Georgia. The Gulf of Mexico got pushed to next year, and I decided to delay Warm Springs. The reason I'm delaying Warm Springs is that it is close enough that I could do that on a day off. It is about a two-hour drive from here. I decided instead to go to Andersonville, which was home to a notorious Confederate prisoner of war camp. I considered a side stop to Plains, Georgia, but I would had to have waited there about half an hour for the Jimmy Carter Museum to open, so I went on.
About 5 miles south of Andersonville, I saw a sign which led to the place where Charles Lindbergh made his first solo flight. I had never heard of that and decided it was something to check out. The picture at the top of this blog here is the Lindbergh statue, which is in front of a the Jimmy Carter Regional Airport. It is nothing fancy but made for a nice stop.
In addition to the Civil War prison, there is a Prisoner of War Museum at Andersonville. The building you see here is the Welcome Center as well as the Museum. The museum is a fascinating place to visit. It covers all of the wars that America has been in. There are many items that former POWs had saved and had used during their incarceration.
Naturally, there is nothing remaining from the original stockade. They have not reconstructed the entire fenced area, just to them at the opposite ends of the area. This is the gate that the prisoners first saw when they entered Andersonville. The stockade was built to house 10,000 men, but eventually over 31,000 were held there.
This was taken at the opposite end from the gate. You can see a guard tower, which were built all away alongside the stockade.
This is a reconstruction of some of the shelters that the men used to shield themselves from the weather. Very little of this was provided for them.
One of the reasons that Andersonville was located where it was, was there was a stream that ran through the center of the stockade. This was to provide fresh water for the men kept their. Unfortunately, there was a drought. After the men started arriving in Andersonville. Conditions had gotten very bad. Several months after the place was filling up, a summer storm came up which help to wash out the camp. Lightning struck where you see this little shelter. The men there, said water came up from where the lightning it hit, and they named the place, Providence Springs.
Here is a view of the fountain that is found inside that building. They do post warning signs not be drinking from that fountain.
There are fence posts all the way around the area where the stockade stood. The first post that you see was where the where the outer walls stood. The inner post was called the deadline. Any man who went past that line was killed.
Several attempts were made to tunnel out of Andersonville. This is one of the holes that was dug. There is a fence surrounding it to preserve it.
There also is a national cemetery at Andersonville. It is still used today. I wasn't able to take a tour of the entire cemetery because they were doing a burial that day.
After touring Andersonville, I was ready to head for home. I considered several different ways to go and decided to take Route 41, which took me right through Atlanta. I have always avoided Atlanta because of the traffic, but it wasn't as bad as I expected. This is the first time that I've taken a trip like that, and I will be doing more, because there is a lot I want to see while I'm still able to.