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Andersonville National Historic Site and National Prisoner of War Museum
496 Cemetery Road, Andersonville, GA 31711
229-924-0343
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Group tours/walking tour, Hiking
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Owner description: Andersonville National Historic Site pays tribute to all American prisoners of war. The park has three features: the National Prisoner of War Museum, the site of the Andersonville prison, and the Andersonville National Cemetery.The National Prisoner of War Museum commemorates the sacrifices of all American prisoners of war. Museum exhibits tell the story of prisoners of war using artifacts, visuals, text and oral history interviews with former prisoners of war. Two 30-minute introductory films alternate thoughout the day. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. A tour road encircles the Andersonville prison site; a self-guided driving tour is available. The Andersonville National Cemetery contains the graves of nearly 13,000 Union prisoners of war. The national cemetery is still active and contains over 20,000 interments.Most visitors spend at least two hours in the park. Those with an interest in the Civil War or military history could easily spend most of the day.
Monticello, Illinois, United States
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Man's Inhumanity to Man”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

The POW museum was very interesting - the movie was helpful - it is hard to believe how crowded and terrible it must have been for the prisoners. The cemetery was a little confusing trying to find the right area for the different number for the gravesites.

Visited April 2014
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309 reviews from our community

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English first
Madison, South Dakota
Top Contributor
324 reviews 324 reviews
183 attraction reviews
Reviews in 166 cities Reviews in 166 cities
331 helpful votes 331 helpful votes
“More than just a Civil War site”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2014

I noticed that most of the reviews of this site treat it as a Civil War prison camp that BTW has a POW museum. That's not surprising since most people probably came here because they had learned about Andersonville in school or had seen the play about it. But that does a disservice to an excellent museum that chronicles the history of US POWs in wars dating back to the Revolution. Rarely does one consider that POWs share a common bond regardless of the war they fought in. The psychological aspects of being a prisoner don't change.

Furthermore, the site is also an operational national cemetery and is the final resting place of hundreds of soldiers and their spouses from more modern times. On any given day military burial services may be ongoing.

At first the juxtaposition of the Andersonville and POW themes might seem odd, but the planners of the site realized that most POWs experience the same hardships as did the troops at Andersonville although the circumstances of their confinement were different. Therefore, it seemed only natural to explain the Andersonville story in the context of stories told by other American POWs from other wars.

Many of the stories aren't pretty but they tell of courage and of an unwavering determination to fight back. Some of the museum's exhibits will not be suitable for children under the age of ~8-10, but the overall Andersonville experience can be achieved without exposing young children to some of the darker aspects. In fact, the newly revised Junior Ranger booklet explains the basic story using primarily the outdoor displays of the prison and only a limited visit to the museum's exhibits.

There are two excellent videos, one on Andersonville and one on the POW experience that you can use to begin your visit. Together they take an hour and are shown alternately. After that introduction you can either focus on the outside tour of the prison or on the museum, which contains both Andersonville and POW artifacts. Ranger tours of the prison area are given several times a day and last about an hour. Audio CDs can be borrowed for free which provide half hour automobile tours of both the prison grounds and the cemetery.

Between the videos, the museum and either a car or ranger tour you can easily spend half a day or more. No food is sold on the site and there isn't much nearby, so packing a lunch might be worthwhile.

Visited April 2014
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Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Touching Memorial”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2014

This museum is loaded with displays and information regarding our soldiers who endured or perished in captivity.

The artifacts and copies of actual items help to explain the hard life of the POW. The Vietnam War prisoner cells/cages were particularly telling.

Our only complaint was that some of the very faint lighting makes it nearly impossible to read certain displays.

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Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Stark Reality”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2014

I have wanted to visit this awful place for years. Finally made it.

Having read about this horrible and cruel prison for years, I could almost see the stockade fences surrounding the areas and smell the stench of waste and filth and disease and death as we walked the grounds. It was harder to imagine the areas loaded with so many unfortunate souls as were squeezed in at one time.

The site is well maintained and well marked. Make sure to avoid "The Sinks," unless you enjoy venomous snakes.


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Brunswick, Georgia
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18 reviews 18 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Sobering”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2014

It was a very sobering experience to see relics and to read about the suffering and horrors that our veterans experienced during their time as a POW during their service to this great nation.

Visited March 2014
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