andersonville2.htm | Elmira Portal to Hell | Elmira Roster | Libby Prison Richmond Virgina | THE ELMIRA OBSERVATORY | Hon. A. M. Keiley Pt Look out | Dr. I. W. K. Handy POW Experience | Reverand George Harris

Confederate P.O.W.'s:  Soldiers & Sailors Who Died in Federal Prisons & Military Hospitals in the North compiled by the War Department in 1912; copyrighted by Frances Ingmire and Carolyn Ericson in 1984; and then reprinted in 1994 by Ericson Books of Nacogdoches, TX. The book provides location of death, name, rank, co., regiment, date of death, and locality of grave.Look-up: Kristopher L Swinson

  Guards at Andersonville
The following units served as guards at various times during the relatively short and fatal history of Andersonville.

Elmira "Hellmira" Prison

Almost 25 percent of the 12,123 Confederate soldiers who entered the 40 acre prisoner of war camp at Elmira, N. Y. died.  This death rate was more than double the average death rate in other Northern prison camps, and only 2 percent less than the death rare at infamous Southern prison at Andersonville, Ga.  The deaths at Elmira were caused by diseases brought on by terrible living conditions and starvation, conditions deliberately caused by the vindictive U. S. commissary-general of prisons, Col. William Hoffman.  The conditions were inexcusable; the North had more than enough food and materials for its armies, population, and prisoners. 

A stockade was built around an unused Union army training camp to create Elmira "Hellmira" Prison in June 1864.   The prison contained 35 barracks and was intended to house as many as 5,000 prisoners.  On July 6 the first 400 arrived, and by the end of the month there were more than 4,400 prisoners, with more on the way.  By the end of August almost 10,000 men were confined there, many of them sleeping in the open in tattered clothes and without blankets. 

On August 18, in retaliation for the conditions in Southern prison camps, Colonel Hoffman ordered that rations for the prisoners be reduced to bread and water.  The over crowded conditions ensured that any disease introduced to the malnourished population would spread rapidly.   Without meat and vegetables, the prisoners quickly succumbed to scurvy, with 1, 870 cased reported by September 11.  The scurvy was followed by an epidemic of diarrhea, then pneumonia and smallpox.  By the end of the year, 1,264 prisoners had died, and survivors had nicknamed the prison "Hellmira".  The winter was bitterly cold, but when Southern families sent clothes for the prisoners, Hoffman would allow only items that were gray to be distributed.  Clothes in other color were burned while the sons and husbands for whom they were intended literally froze to deathBy the end of the war, 2,973 Elmira prisoners had died.

Before resigning to avoid court martial for his criminal treatment of sick prisoners, the chief surgeon at Elmira was overheard to boast that he had killed more Rebs than any Union soldier.

The Elmira Article was written by Stephen T. Foster

There is no movie of the war crimes committed at Elmira, only those of us, that our fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles and cousins, died at the hands of criminals in Northern POW camps have risen to speak out and let the stilled voices of "Hellmira" be heard.

Elmira Prison Camp OnLine Library National Cemetery System,Dept of Veterans Affairs
Elmira living history Elmira living history
Civil War Prison Elmira  Civil War Prisons
Civil War Prison Point Lookout   The Civil War Center Prison Links


Andersonville National Historic Site (National Park Service)
 Route 1, Box 800
 Andersonville, GA 31711
 Tel: 912-924-0343
 Conditions at Andersonville
 Archaeology at Andersonville
 Wayside Exhibits for Andersonville
 National POW Museum at Andersonville

 Andersonville Prisoners of War, 1863-65
 (Database of the Day - Search it FREE for 10 days!)

 "Andersonville: A Legacy of Shame . . . But Whose?"
 By Gary Waltrip (CSAnet)

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