Andersonville Prison, Appomattox, Virginia, Henry Wirz, Robert Edward Lee, Sumter County, Georgia

The Confederate Andersonville Prison

South view of the Andersonville Prison (August 17, 1964).

The Andersonville Prison of Sumter County, Georgia was a prison camp that held 45,000 union soldiers.

A group of prisoners, called the Raiders, terrorize the camp. Six of the raiders were summarily executed.

Andersonville Prison’s second commander Henry Wirz.

Henry Wirz, who took command of the Andersonville Prison after the first commander died, was arrested a month after Robert Edward Lee surrendered his forces at Appomattox, Virginia and was executed as a war criminal shortly after.

The 1865 war crimes trial of Henry Wirz.

John Rupert and John Hines, the last individuals to die in the Civil War before the surrender of the Confederacy, were killed by friendly fire during an attempt to capture Jefferson Davis. They are both buried at the Andersonville National Cemetery.

In 1970, the Andersonville Prison was established as the Andersonville National Historic Site to honor all U.S. prisoners of war.

Presently, the former prison is the site of the National Prisoner of War Museum.

Appomattox Courthouse, Appomattox, Virginia, General Ulysses S. Grant, Robert Edward Lee

General Lee’s Surrender To General Grant At The Appomattox Courthouse

On April 9, 1865, after the Battle of Appomattox Courthouse, Confederate General Robert Edward Lee set up letter correspondences between himself and General Grant. Both generals agreed to meet at the Appomattox Courthouse where General Robert Edward Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. General Grant ordered that the soldiers of General Lee’s army could simply go home and that they would not be tried as traitors. When General Lee announced to his troops of the surrender, some objected stating that they could continue to fight in the mountains, but Lee countered stating that he would not mount gurella warfare.

Union soldiers guarding the Appomattox Courthouse.

The the site of Lee’s surrender has been designated by the U.S. Congress as the Appomattox Court House Park and is part of the U.S. National Park Service.

Author’s Note:

General Robert Edward Lee and Ulysses S. Grant were both graduates of West Point and were veterans of the Mexican-American War. Their mutual respect for one another led to a more lax set of surrender terms by General Grant.