Our National Cemeteries: Andersonville National Cemetery

From my home in upstate New York, Andersonville National Cemetery is about sixteen hours by car. It is a LONG road. But for the boys in blue buried at this particular cemetery, the road was much longer, much harder, and filled with more suffering before they found peace.
The Andersonville National Cemetery was, before it was nationalized, the cemetery where Union soldiers were interred who died at the prisoner of war camp less than a half mile away. Opened in early 1864, Camp Sumter—better known as Andersonville—would swell to over thirty thousand inmates. Of those who entered the gates, nearly 30 percent died—about thirteen thousand men. The first burials occurred in February 1864.
Today there are more than 20,000 graves, which include veterans of U.S. service in the wars succeeding the Civil War. Alongside the many rows of marble markers, there are also a number of monuments erected by various states, including Minnesota, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, and Pennsylvania.
As a sobering reminder of the costs of war, I found a short row of fresh graves from American servicemen and women killed in recent action in April and May of this year. Although their road to Andersonville was different, their sacrifice is appreciated this Memorial Day.

1 Response to Our National Cemeteries: Andersonville National Cemetery

  1. They suffered rather than desert. Their story needs to be told to our youth. We need never to forget those we never knew.

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