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A Time Line for Andersonville Prison in the Civil War - June 1864 to December 1864
This timeline covers the last six months of 1864 for Andersonville. The events listed on the timeline are gleaned from diaries kept by prisoners. My reason for collecting this information is to create a picture in my mind of what my ancestor experienced during his time in Andersonville. If you are researching Andersonville, I hope the sources and the day-by-day events help you too.
My great-great grandfather was captured 06/10/1864 and held in Andersonville Prison until paroled on 12/06/1864 when he was sent to Charleston, South Carolina. The timeline focuses on that time period only.
June 1864 Andersonville Prison Time Line
- Friday, June 10, 1864 - hot sun, but very cool, fresh breeze and looks like rain (1 Charles Lepley)
June 10, 1864 - Records show 20671 Union prisoners at Andersonville. (6)
- Saturday, June 11, 1864 - "More Rain to day...Another excitement about paroling" (1)
- Sunday, June 12, 1864 - cloudy and cool day. "News this morning that our officers are paroled and we are to follow." (1) "Takes an hour and often more to get them together for roll call, get the names of the sick, and those who are to go for wood. Another hour to go with sick and get medicines for them, another to get the wood squad together, and go for wood and near two hours to divide the rations." ... "ten dollars of our hoarded hundred was exchanged for a bar of soap about 12 in. long by 1 1/2 in. square... The weather hot with a shower in the afternoon so far each day. Have felt dull and stupid today, I think it is from the heat and change of food." (8 Tisdale)
- Monday, June 13, 1864 - Clouds all day with just one glimpse of the sun. Very cold with mist. No roll call. (1) "Rain most of the night. Cold and drizzly all day. Hundreds of poor fellows soaked from last night’s shower are shivering about the camp." (8 Tisdale)
- Tuesday, June 14, 1864 - Lepley reports it was still cloudy and cold. There was a light mist and no sunshine. He mentioned that fresh vegetables were for sale to the prisoners that day for $1.00 pr quart for new potatoes. For 50 cents one could get a cucumber. A dozen beets, a dozen raddishes or a dozen onions sold for a dollar. (1 Lepley)
- Wednesday, June 15, 1864 - Another day of rain (1) June 15, 1864 - Prisoner numbers had increased to 21714. (6) "Drew rations of rice and molasses. Exchanged some of them for some beans and bit of onion and so made soup." (8 Tisdale) Tisdale reported that food beyond the rations could be purchased if prisoners had smuggled in money in their shoes or even hidden in their mouth. Eggs were $1.00 a dozen, potatoes $1.60, a dozen, beans 50¢ a quart, cucumbers 60¢ each, and onions $1.50 per dozen.
- Thursday, June 16, 1864 - Tisdale wrote in his diary that food was not distributed until 9 p.m. and was only uncooked rice and meat. "This makes two days we have received raw rations and have not been allowed to go out for wood." (8 Tisdale)
- Saturday, June 18, 1864 - Tisdale said the heavy rain from 4 pm until midnight made everyone miserable. Those with dugouts or mud huts were either flooded or their hut crumbling from the rain. Others had no shelter. (8 Tisdale)
- Sunday, June 19, 1864 - Tisdale mentioned that a man was killed when a tunnel collapsed. The guards discovered to other almost-finished tunnels, preventing escape. (8 Tisdale)
The Information for This Time Line Came from These Journals and Resources
- (1) Charles Lepley's Diary of Andersonville
1864 Diary of Charles Lepley, Private, Co. E. 103rd Pa Volunteers. He died September 11, 1864 in Andersonville.
- (2) David S. Whitenack's Memories of Andersonville
Posted online by the Indiana Magazine of History
- (3) TIMELINE: RECORD OF ACTIVITY - CAMP SUMTER
Kevin Frye maintains a web site about Andersonville history. He can also take photos or research information for you. (4) David Marvel's book Andersonville: The Last Depot (Civil War America)
- (5) Georgia History - Timeline for Andersonville Prison
This gives some highlights of important dates in Andersonville's history up to the present time.
- (6) DAILY POPULATION NUMBERS OF PRISONERS AT ANDERSONVILLE
Check the number of prisoners, as they increase or decrease day-by-day.
- (7) CHS: Civl War Manuscripts Project: Henry H. Adams
- SERGEANT HENRY W. TISDALE JUNE-DECEMBER 1864
(8) Civil War Diary of SERGEANT HENRY W. TISDALE JUNE-DECEMBER 1864
Read the Classic Book on Andersonville - It won a Pulitzer Prize
July 1864 Andersonville Prison Time Line - Activities, weather, events in the prison
- July 7, 1864 - Prisoner Albert H. Shatzel dug a well which produced water that was at times fresh and other times backish. The only other water available was the polluted creek running through the prison that was the cause of much disease in the Andersonville. (3)
- July 21, 1864 - A prisoner noted in his diary that the union cavalry was coming and that 500 Negroes were to work night and day putting up earthworks to protect the prison. (Futch - History of Andersonville Prison, p. 83)
- Sunday, July 31, 1864 - A cloudy day with a shower in the evening. (1)
July 31, 1864 - There were 31,675 prisoners at Andersonville. (6)
Locations Mentioned in the Timeline
Andersonville Prison in Georgia
September 2, 1864 - Atlanta occupied by United States troops.
October 5, 1864 - Battle of Allatoona, Georgia
November 22, 1864 - Battle of Griswoldville.
November 23, 1864- United States troops enter Milledgeville
November 28, 1864 - Cavalry action at Buckhead Church.
August 1864 Andersonville Prison Time Line
- Monday, August 1, 1864 - Lepley wrote in his diary: "Cloudy and Cool with a little Rain Nights pretty warm" (1)
August 1, 1864 Prisoner population reaches 30,000 and still increasing. (5)
- August 9, 1864 - A flood washed out part of the stockade (4)
- August 12, 1864 - almost 33,000 Union soldiers in Andersonville, the most it ever held. 682 men died that week. (4)
- August 16, 1864 - Photographer Riddle took photos of the prison and prisoners. "blazingly hot day" (4)
August 16, 1864 - "Drew (?) cooked beans and beef. Cool and pleasant. Had a small shower just at night. Another man died from our company." (it's interesting that the other diary called this same day, blazingly hot. It makes you wonder if the diary keeper might have lost track of the date.) (7)
August 17, 1864 - "Had our roll call. Cool and pleasant. Had to help draw rations from our team. Two men died from Co. K." (7)
- Saturday, August 27, 1864 - Lepley writes that it was a clear, warm day. Much talk of exchange. They received 1/2 ration of corn bread, 1/2 ration of cooked rice and 1/3 ration of raw beef. (1)
Read More about Andersonville - Journals and diaries of prisoners
It's really an eye-opener to read these firsthand accounts of what the prisoners experienced at the prison.
September 1864 Andersonville Prison Time Line
- September 1, 1864 - Records show Andersonville Prison's population was 31,578. (6)
Charles Lepley wrote in his diary that it was a clear day, but colder than usual for the date. It was hard to sleep the previous night because of the mosquitoes. "A Sergeant of Detachment killed a man on the North side by stabbing him last evening." The rations of cooked rice & beef was distributed in in the forenoon, half of each. Then the prisoners received half a ration of corn bread with some pork. (1)
- September 2, 1864 - Charles Lepley in his diary notes that "some of the Colored Soldiers" were removed that evening. The rumor was that they were former slaves. The rations that evening were 1 ration of cooked beef, half ration of cooked beans, and a half ration of cooked corn bread. (1)
- September 7, 1864 - Eighteen detachments of prisoners left Andersonville for Charleston and Florence, South Carolina. Those who were too sick to go, moved into the new barracks. (Futch - History of Andersonville Prison)
- In mid-September, there was an order to take 11,000 prisoners from Andersonville to Florence, South Carolina. They were crowded onto freight cars for the journey. (2 - David S. Whitenack)
- September 13, 1864 - One trainload of prisoners derailed not far from Andersonville. They were being transferred to another prison (William Marvel)
- September 1864 - The average deaths in September were 80 to 100 men a day. The able bodied prisoners had been moved, leaving no comrades to tend the sicker ones. (William Marvel)
- September 17, 1864 - Prison population reduced to less than 9,000 and 2,000 were in the prison hospital. (William Marvel)
Videos about Andersonville Prison
October 1864 Andersonville Prison Time Line
- October 1, 1864 - At this time, 4179 prisoners remained in Andersonville. (6)
More to Come
I'll be adding to this as I have time and as I find new sources.
I want to get a day-by-day picture of what happened in Andersonville Prison.
November 1864 Andersonville Prison Time Line
- November 1, 1864 - The prison contained 4179 soldiers. (6)
- November 12, 1864 - The prison quartermaster received a shipment of supplies for the prisoners. It included almost 400 blankets and a similar number of draws (underwear?), socks and shirts. There were also 60 pairs of shoes. (3)
- November 8, 1864 - Lincoln re-elected for president.
Prisoners Tried Digging Wells for Water or Caves for Shelter
December 1864 Andersonville Prison Time Line
- December 1, 1864 - The prison contained 1301 prisoners at this point. (6)
- December 6, 1864 - My great-great grandfather, Abraham Bates Tower, paroled from Andersonville. He weighed 73 pounds. (his pension application)
December 6, 1864..... The population of the prison dropped to 1321 prisoners. (6)
My Research about the Starvation at Andersonville
Andersonville Prison in Georgia was notorious for the starvation suffered by Union soldiers there during the Civil War. Why did it happen and how did the prisoners survive the brutal conditions there?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 Virginia Allain
What Interests You in the Civil War?
Virginia Allain (author) from Central Florida on August 10, 2013:
@OhMe: I think I was in college when I read the Pulitzer Prize book, Andersonville. It had that same affect on me. At a younger age, I was taken to see the movie, Bridge over the River Kwai. That horrified me.
Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on August 10, 2013:
I remember reading a book about Andersonville when I was in Elementary School. It haunted me and I had so many questions. I remember my mom telling the teacher that she thought I was too young to have been allowed to read that book. I am not sure if they took it out of the library then or not but I can still feel the pain I felt when reading it. I must have been in about the 3rd or 4th grade.
Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on August 09, 2013:
An excellent, truly excellent, resource for the person seeking details on the history of Andersonville in 1864 and thereabouts. Congratulations
Virginia Allain (author) from Central Florida on January 08, 2013:
@anonymous: Thanks for alerting me to your book. I've added it on my Kindle and after reading it will contact you. I'm interested in your research as I am pursuing details on my Civil War ancestor.
anonymous on January 08, 2013:
To read about my ancestor's experience at Andersonville, google my book Hiram's Honor.