The Friends of Andersonville was established in 1988 to provide support to Andersonville National Historic Site. This dedicated group works closely with park staff to foster public understanding of the role this prison camp played in our nation’s history. As mandated by the United States Congress, the historic site interprets the sacrifices made and the hardships encountered by our military while incarcerated on foreign soil as well as the story of countless others who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending the freedom we hold so dear.
This historic site serves as a reminder of a tragic and sad chapter in American history. Located in Southwest Georgia, Andersonville Prison was one of the largest of the Confederate compounds to hold Union captives during the Civil War. Constructed in early 1864 this prison confined approximately 44,000 Union soldiers during its period of existence. Nearly 13,000 of these men died from disease, malnutrition, overcrowding, and exposure during the 14 months the prison was in operation. To commemorate their sacrifices, Andersonville National Cemetery was established August 17, 1965. Shortly thereafter the Woman’s Relief Corps started purchasing land to preserve the site where the former prison was located. Over a four decade period many states erected monuments to honor their dead on both the grounds of the former prison and in the National Cemetery.
The Friends of Andersonville are the recipient of the 2014 National Park Service Directors Award.