Between February 1864 and April 1865, 41,000 Union prisoners of war were taken to the stockade at Anderson Station, Georgia, where nearly 13,000 of them died. Most contemporary accounts placed the blame for the tragedy squarely on the shoulders of the Confederates who administered the prison or on a conspiracy of higher-ranking officials.
In this carefully researched and compelling revisionist account, William Marvel provides a comprehensive history of Andersonville Prison and conditions within it. Based on reliable primary sources including diaries, Union and Confederate government documents, and letters rather than exaggerated postwar recollections and such well-known but spurious 'diaries' as that of John Ransom, Marvel's analysis exonerates camp commandant Henry Wirz and others from charges that they deliberately exterminated prisoners, a crime for which Wirz was executed after the war.
According to Marvel, virulent disease and severe shortages of vegetables, medical supplies, and other necessities combined to create a crisis beyond Wirz's control. He also argues that the tragedy was aggravated by the Union decision to suspend prisoner exchanges, which meant that many men who might have returned home were instead left to sicken and die in captivity.
A well researched and well written book...Puts many myths to bed regarding this unfortunately scourge in American history (though numerous other Union and Confederate prison canes were not much better). It's not the fiction/partial non-fiction of Kanter's "Andersonville"...though the reality is no less engrossing.
I recommend this to Civil War history buffs...it will not disappoint...
Very well researched about a difficult prison camp in the south, resources were scare and deprivation abounded. The author used a very even hand not to sensationalize any of the events that are depicted in the movie or other books. This is the last place you wanted to end up as a prisoner of war in the south,