Andersonville Prison, Georgia

Andersonville Prison, Georgia

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The largest Confederate prisoner of war camp constructed to house captured Union troops, Andersonville held 45,000 troops over the course of its 14 month existence. Conditions within the camp were horrific and 13,000 Union prisoners died from disease, exposure, and food shortages. This 1864 print shows Union prisoners cramped into a rectangular stockade. Armed Confederate sentries look down upon the men from the wall. At the upper left and right corners, fortifications ensure that no prisoners would attempt to escape. Behind the upper right fort, a grouping of buildings are marked as the headquarters for Captain Henry Wirz, the commander of the camp, who was tried and executed for war crimes at the end of the Civil War. Although the facility was constructed to house a maximum of 10,000 prisoners, a caption below the illustration claims that in June, July, and August of 1864, the number of prisoners had swelled to 33,000. In the lower left, a horse-drawn wagon carries dead bodies of Union soldiers out of the camp, 12,877 in total. Images of Andersonville remained popular in the North after the war, exhibited in homes as both remembrances of the war’s horrors and alleged examples of widespread Southern cruelty. These prints, by safeguarding the memories of the prison, helped to secure the camp’s designation as a National Historic Site, but also amplified sectional hostilities throughout the years of Reconstruction.
Thomas S. Sinclair, the publisher of this print, was a Scottish immigrant to Philadelphia who worked in the lithographic shop of John Collins, before taking it over the next year. His firm was profitable into the 1880s, producing maps, city views, certificates, book illustrations, political cartoons, sheet music covers, and fashion advertisements.
This illustration of Andersonville was based on a sketch by John Burns Walker, a Union private from a Pennsylvania regiment who had been imprisoned there. His sketches were transferred to lithograph by Bavarian-born artist Anton Hohenstein, who changed his name to Anthony Hochstein sometime during the 1860s.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Date made
Sinclair, Thomas
Walker, John B.
graphic artist
Hohenstein, Anton
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
United States: Georgia, Andersonville
image: 14 1/4 in x 20 in; 36.195 cm x 50.8 cm
overall: 19 in x 24 in; 48.26 cm x 60.96 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
Chronology: 1860-1869
Civil War
Uniforms, Military
Civil War
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Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
American Civil War Prints
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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