With its notorious reputation as one of the worst Confederate prison stockades, the site of Camp Sumter inevitably became hallowed ground to the survivors and families of those who died here, including Confederate guards. Between 1899 and 1916, a series of monuments were placed by various states at the stockade site and within the cemetery, and their dedications were huge events, with survivors and regular citizens making the long journey to Andersonville by train. The Georgia Monument (above) was placed on Memorial Day 1976 at the entrance to the cemetery.
State Monuments of the Cemetery Site
The Illinois Monument, a collaboration by sculptor Charles Mulligan and state architect Carbys Zimmerman, is one of the nicest of all the memorials in the cemetery.
Dedicated in 1912, it features a bronze sculpture of Columbia pointing to fallen heroes, flanked by Youth and Maiden.
Statues of anonymous Illinois veterans leaning on the words of Lincoln and saddened by the human loss of war, flank each wing of the monument.
The Iowa Monument, dedicated in 1906, features a weeping woman atop a red base. The front of the base features a relief of an Iowa infantryman and the words: Iowa honors the turf that wraps their clay. The Unknown. Their names are recorded in the archives of their country.
Though it was placed in 1911, the New York Monument wasn’t dedicated until 1914. It features bronze reliefs on the front and back of a tapered granite marker.
The back relief features a young and old soldier sitting inside the stockade with an angel hovering above them. It’s one of the most moving sculptures at the site.
The New Jersey Monument was among the first of the state monuments placed at Andersonville.
It features a soldier at parade rest, surveying the dead.
The Connecticut Monument commission chose a design by Boston sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt. It was dedicated in 1907.
It depicts a typical young Connecticut soldier.
The Minnesota Monument is one of three monuments of the same design that Minnesota dedicated in 1916, the other two being located at the National Cemeteries in Little Rock and Memphis.
It depicts a young Union soldier in a winter coat.
The impressive Pennsylvania Monument features a mournful soldier atop an arch.
It was installed by Miller & Clark Granite and Monumental Works of Americus and dedicated in 1901.
The Maine Monument was erected in 1903. It was dedicated not only in memory of those who died here but to all who served. It was designed and cut by C. E. Tayntor & Company of Hollowell, Maine.
The Indiana Monument was dedicated in 1908.
State Monuments of the Prison Site
The Massachusetts Monument was dedicated in 1901, honoring the state’s 767 known dead at the site.
A favorite of many visitors, the Michigan Monument features a life-size weeping maiden.
It was created by the Lloyd Brothers Monument Company of Toledo, Ohio, and dedicated in 1904. Among those present at the dedication were ten carloads of former veterans from Fitzgerald, Georgia, the Union soldiers colony about an hour east of Andersonville.
At 40 feet, the Ohio Monument is the tallest at Andersonville. Dedicated in 1901, it is the second oldest monument in the park.
Like many of the others in the park, it features the motto “Death Before Dishonor”.
The Wisconsin Monument, accomplished in Georgia granite and topped by a bronze eagle, was dedicated in 1907. This view is from the rear of the monument.
The Rhode Island Monument was dedicated in 1903. As it’s the smallest state, its monument is also the smallest state monument at Andersonville. The 74 Rhode Island soldiers who are buried in the cemetery are all named on the monument. Among the is Charles F. Curtis, 5th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, who was one of the leaders of the despised Andersonville Raiders. These men were hanged by the other prisoners for terrorizing, stealing from, and even murdering some of their fellow captives.
The so-called 8-State Monument was placed by the Woman’s Relief Corps (auxiliary of the Grand Army of the Republic) in 1934 to memorialize the states that didn’t have a monument. It was dedicated in 1936. States listed are: Delaware, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont, West Virginia.
Other Monuments at Andersonville
Lizabeth Ann Turner was a prominent member of the Woman’s Relief Corps (WRC) who were instrumental in securing and beautifying the grounds at Andersonville. She had been a volunteer nurse in Boston during the Civil War and in 1895 became the National President of the WRC. Mrs. Turner died while visiting the prison site on 27 April 1907 and this memorial was dedicated to honor her in 1908.
Clara Barton was a leader in the effort to identify the dead at Andersonville and to establish the site as a National Cemetery. This monument, commissioned by the WRC, was dedicated on Memorial Day 1915.
On Memorial Day 1929, this monument commissioned by the Woman’s Relief Corps and authorized by President Hoover, was dedicated. It features two bronze tablets containing the words of the Gettysburg Address and General Logan’s Memorial Day Order of 1868.
There is also a monumental sundial, which isn’t pictured, and a wellhouse at Providence Spring, which will be covered elsewhere.
On 3 May 1989, the anniversary of the liberation of the German prison camp Stalag XVII-B, this monument was dedicated to honor all prisoners of German camps throughout the European theater of World War II. It is the last monument dedicated at Andersonville and is located within the cemetery, unlike the preceding monuments which are located at the prison site.
Southern State Monuments of the Cemetery Site
The Tennessee Monument is unusual in that it honors Southern natives who died at Camp Sumter in service to the Union. It was funded by contributions of Tennessee members of the Grand Army of the Republic. It was dedicated in 1915, within the prison site.
The Georgia Monument, dedicated on Memorial Day 1976, was the last state monument placed at Andersonville. Governor Jimmy Carter, who had worked to have Andersonville included in the National Park System, was instrumental in the monument being placed. It was created by Athens sculptor William J. Thompson. It commemorates lost prisoners of all American wars.
Andersonville National Historic Site