Visit Andersonville National Historic Site National Park - Since the Revolutionary War American prisoners of war have endured untold hardships, and shown tremendous courage. Stay and Play in Georgia!
Andersonville NHS commemorates the sacrifices of these brave Americans at exhibits in the National Prisoner of War Museum; preserves the site of Camp Sumter (Andersonville prison); and manages Andersonville National Cemetery.
Andersonville Prison (Camp Sumter) Camp Sumter, commonly called Andersonville, was one of the largest military prisons established by the Confederacy during the Civil War. In existence for 14 months, over 45,000 Union soldiers were confined at the prison. Of these, almost 13,000 died from disease, poor sanitation, malnutrition, overcrowding, and exposure to the elements. The largest number held in the 26½-acre stockade at any one time was more than 32,000, during August of 1864. Today the beauty of the prison site belies the suffering that once took place inside the stockade.
National Prisoner of War Museum The 1970 legislation responsible for establishing Andersonville National Historic Site instructed the site "to interpret the role of prisoners-of-war camps in history" and "to commemorate the sacrifice of Americans who lost their lives in such camps." To that end, the exhibits in the National Prisoner of War Museum serve as a memorial to all American prisoners of war. The museum opened in 1998 and is dedicated to the American men and women who have suffered as POWs.
Andersonville National Cemetery The cemetery is the final resting place for those who perished while being held as POWs at Camp Sumter. It is now a National Cemetery, serving as a honored burial place for present-day veterans. The National Park Service maintains fourteen National Cemeteries nationwide. Only two of these, Andersonville National Historic Site and Andrew Johnson National Historic Site are classified as active, continuing to bury veterans and their dependents.
The Andersonville Prison Historical Hike is a 3-mile walking history lesson through Andersonville National Historic Site and the town of Andersonville. This historic hike is designed to acquaint young hikers with the story of Andersonville and American prisoners of war. The hike is not along a physical trail, but allows an exploration of the park through the use of a questionnaire to direct your visit. Those interested in the hike should request a questionnaire at the information desk of the National Prisoner of War Museum. The hike begins in the National Prisoner of War Museum, continues outside through the historic prison site, into the town of Andersonville and ends in Andersonville National Cemetery. An optional fully embroidered patch is available for purchase for those who complete the hike.
Be A Junior Ranger
Explore and learn about the park and become a Junior Ranger! The Junior Ranger Activity booklet will guide your visit to the park and help you earn a Junior Ranger Badge. Activities are available for children from ages 6 to 12 to complete with their families. Ask for the Activity booklet at the information desk of the National Prisoner of War Museum. Children ages 6-8 must complete 6 of the activities in order to receive a Junior Ranger Badge. If you are ages 9-12 you must complete 8 of the activities.
Operating Hours & Seasons
The park grounds are open every day of the year from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm EST, allowing access to both the historic prison site and Andersonville National Cemetery.
The National Prisoner of War Museum, which also serves as the park's visitor center, opens at 8:30 am and closes at 5:00 pm. It is open every day of the week year-round, with three exceptions. The building is closed and no visitor services are provided on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. However, the park grounds, including the historic prison site and the National Cemetery, are still open and accessible on these days.
Fees & Reservations
You do not need a permit to walk the A.T., but overnight camping permits are required in some areas. There are no fees required to hike the A.T., and generally, no reservations are required or accepted at trail shelters or overnight sites. However, there are fees for vehicle parking in some areas and there are fees at some overnight sites. Specific information is available from ATC.
Andersonville prison was the deadliest prisoner of war camp during the Civil War with a total of nearly 13,000 deaths. Over 40% of all Union prisoners of war who died during the Civil War perished at Andersonville.
The site of Andersonville prison was owned by both the Grand Army of the Republic and the Woman’s Relief Corp before being purchased by the federal government in 1910. The prison site was administered, along with Andersonville National Cemetery, by the Department of the Army until 1971.
Boston Corbett (Sergeant 16th NY Cavalry), the man credited with killing John Wilkes Booth, was a prisoner at Andersonville.
The largest artifact in the National Prisoner of War Museum is the “Sack of Cement Cross” from Camp O’Donnell in the Philippines. The total height of the cross is 8 ft. The cross was built as a memorial to American prisoners who perished in the camp.