Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Andersonville

Andersonville was a prisoner of war camp for the south during the Civil War.  It was located in Georgia.  It was  a living Hell for the men who were kept there.   The walls of the camp formed a rectangle of rough hewn pine standing 15-20 feet in height and built on a sixteen and one-half acre tract intended to house no more than ten thousand prisoners. There were far fewer prisoners in the early stages of its fourteen month existence than later.    By June of 1864 the population swelled to over 26,000 prisoners in Andersonville.  It was difficult enough for the south to feed their own armies, much less worry about prisoners of war.
 Rations began running short and there were inadequate barracks facilities to house the prisoners
The daily ration for the prisoners and guards was scant, being merely one and one-fourth pound of corn meal and one pound of beef or one-third pound of bacon occasionally supplemented with beans, peas, rice or molasses. The lack of vegetables led to numerous cases of scurvy from which many died.
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The prison population continued to grow to over 33,000 in August of 1864. Hundreds of soldiers were dying each day. The "deadhouse" outside the prison was filled beyond capacity and bodies were being stacked outside prior to burial.




Prisoners were relying on shelter from a few crude huts, pieces of tents and holes they had dug in the ground. There was no clothing given to prisoners, so most wore only ragged remnants of their uniforms or in some cases nothing at all. The Confederate forces
surrendered in April of 1865 and the prison camp in Andersonville was included in that surrender. The total number of dead was nearly 13,000 during the fourteen months that Andersonville prison had been operating. There had been slightly over 45,000 prisoners held at Andersonville during that fourteen month period. Although death rates were high in other civil war prisons as well, none approached that of Andersonville. The condition of the prisoners at Andersonville on its liberation led Walt Whitman to write, "the dead there are not to be pitied as much as some of the living that have come from there--if they can be called living." The picture to the right is of a prisoner after his release.



Alex Coleman was a Union Soldier from East Liverpool and  is buried at Spring Grove Cemetery.  He was also a survivor of Andersonville Prison.  His is only one of the stories we uncovered in our research for the tour we are putting on Wednesday October 20 at 6 pm.  Please come to this fundraising event and help out by making a donation to Spring Grove Cemetery!

Spring Grove Cemetery Tour Oct 17, 2010

 The first of two tours for Spring Grove Cemetery this month went very nicely.  We walked around this once Cemetery for paupers and told the stories of some of the people who once walked the streets of East Liverpool. 

 We told stories of murder, mystery, and intrigue in The Carnival Girl, The Barrel Lady (Julia Walls), The Tweed/Morris murders of 1973 on Dresden Avenue, and the Taylor murders of 1979. 
We talked of former baseball players George Scoops Carey and Charles Rearke.  We also told the tragic stories of suicide victims like Johnny Ashbaugh and Andrew Jackson Bailey.  There were also the stories of burn victims, like the Keenan family who burned to death in 1930 or little Martha Burlingame who burned to death in 1932.  There were also drownings like poor little George Beaver Jr. who drowned when he was only 5 years old.     

There were stories of disasters from this area, famous artists, former Mayors, and a little boy named Billy Amos who just might haunt this cemetery to this day.

We also told the story of Spring Grove and how much it needed some financial help.  The grass needs cut, holes need filled in, and cemetery stones need repaired.  There are some men buried here that are veterans and have no marker, even from the government.  Alex Coleman, for example, fought during the Civil War and survived one of the most notorious Prisoner Of War camps that existed during that time-Andersonville(story to come next about this horrible place.)   The wreck of the Scioto on the Ohio River was also told as a man who drowned in that event is laid to rest in Spring Grove. 
If you missed this tour, we are giving it again on October 20 at 6pm.  The cost is a suggested $5 donation and ALL PROCEEDS WILL BE GIVEN TO SPRING GROVE CEMETERY to help take care of the section that has no caretaker.  Please come to this fundraiser!  You will have a great time and help one of the oldest cemeteries in the area.