Andersonville Prison, which was also known as Camp Sumter, was a Confederate war prison during the Civil War. It was located in southwest Georgia in the US, and it was put together in 1864 as a place to handle increasing numbers of Union prisoners of war (POWs). The prison generally developed a terrible reputation for mistreatment of soldiers and poor conditions. By the time the war was over, many people in the north were angry about Andersonville, and the commander of the prison was prosecuted for war crimes.
The prison wasn't complete when it was opened, but many prisoners were moved into the location. According to some reports, it was overcrowded by three times its actual capacity. Prisoners were forced to use the same stream for drinking and sewage. There was little shelter, and, allegedly, most people simply slept outdoors. The conditions at Andersonville prison generally worsened as the war continued, and things became progressively more dangerous.
Late in the war, the Confederacy had a serious problem with supplies. Even basic necessities like bullets and food were extremely scarce. In some cases, their own soldiers were actually starving, and sometimes their rations would be nothing more than a little bit of bread or some moldy vegetables. In this situation, prisoners suffered even more severely, and many of them starved to death. Andersonville prison was particularly hard hit because the area was so hot and the structure itself so overcrowded.
Inside Andersonville prison, conditions became completely unsanitary, with diseases like malaria and dysentery leading to dehydration and death on a massive scale. According to reports, the situation eventually got so bad that more than 100 prisoners were dying on a daily basis. There was so much anarchy and disorder that prisoners were allegedly killing each other to steal basic provisions. Eventually, many of the prisoners were moved to different prison camps on the orders of a Confederate medical commission. Overall, approximately 30% of the prisoners held in the camp died, resulting in a total of about 12,000 fatalities.
At the end of the war, there was a call for retribution against the people who ran the camp. This resulted in the prosecution of Captain Henry Wurst, who was later hung as a war criminal. The grounds of Andersonville prison have since become a national cemetery specifically used for American war veterans. There is also a national park in the area that serves as a memorial for all missing POWs.