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Editorial Reviews

Andersonville Diary: A True Account is the harrowing diary of John Ransom, a 20-year-old Union soldier who was captured then detained in Andersonville, Georgia, at a Confederate prison camp.

This true story begins in the fall of 1863 when Ransom became a prisoner of war in Tennessee. In plain-spoken language and startling detail, Ransom writes unflinchingly about the unsanitary conditions of the camp that sees 140 prisoners dying daily. At other points, before eventually escaping, Ransom suffers from scurvy and starvation.

Adrian Cronauer serves up his restrained, earthy performance with a slight Southern drawl.

Publisher's Summary

Almost 10 times as many men died in the Civil War prison camps of the North and South as were killed at the Battle of Gettysburg. One such camp was Andersonville, where Union soldiers like Brigade Quartermaster John L. Ransom of the Ninth Michigan Cavalry, were subjected to hunger, disease, cruelty, and despair. Captured in November 1863, Ransom kept his spirits and courage up enough to survive and record this compelling true account of his experiences.
(P) Recorded Books, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"It is one of the best of the many fine first-hand accounts that have come down to us from the Civil War." (Bruce Catton)
"Adrian Cronauer's reading is flawless and riveting." (Kliatt Magazine)

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  • Overall
  • Randolph
  • Edmonds, WA, United States
  • 10-11-03

It was an awful time

While I had heard the name and knew it to be a terrible place this book gave the horrid details. Born and raised in the old south I wish it were not true, but it is. The amazing thing is that the author really lived through it all. An detailed account of a man who went through Andersonville and in the end was saved by friends who cared. This is a book we should all read or listen to as a part of our history. This book also brought out the importance of keeping a personal journal so that history will not be lost.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Rick
  • Murrieta, CA, United States
  • 06-01-16

Excellent first-hand Andersonville account!

I'll start by giving three cheers to another volunteer from the Wolverine State. Only Michigander would be so stout as to live thru Andersonville, escape, and make it back to Union lines with expiring. Well, maybe not just a Wolverine but darn close.

John L. Ransom gives a harrowing account of what life was like in Andersonville, and Rebel prisons as a whole. He kept (3) diaries, carrying them with him every step of the way to share his story though he was certain (at times) people would never read what he wrote. He was one of countless prisoners whom endured the captivity but did so in Georgia. And he is even a smaller fraction of those who lived to tell about.

If you can get past the oration of Adrian Cronauer, who always sounded like Paul Harvey (WJR in Detroit), then you might enjoy this. Otherwise it my be a longer road than escaping from a Rebel prison.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Todd
  • Henderson, NV, USA
  • 04-01-03

Fabulous!

What an amazing saga! If you did not know it was fact, you would believe that only fiction could be so cruel, and portray such a tale of human suffering and endurance. We take for granted the suffering of others in securing the priveledges that we have. I recommend this highly.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

A Great Read

This was a great first hand account of life as a Union soldier during the Civil War and the horrors that took place at Andersonville. Well written and easy to follow. A wonderful historic read!

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I'm At a Loss for Words

Would you listen to Andersonville Diary again? Why?

This is an incredible account of Sargent John Ransom who survived the horrors of the confederate prison camp of Andersonville. I am interested in history, particularly U.S. Civil War history and I would listen to this book again.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Andersonville Diary?

What is most memorable to me about this diary is Sargent Ransom's ability to keep a positive attitude amongst the horrors of his confinement. I'm deeply touched by the concern demonstrated by many of the soldiers towards each other. This concern, along with Sargent Ransom's positive attitude, are what I believe saved Sargent Ransom from perishing while a prisoner in Andersonville.

Which character – as performed by Adrian Cronauer – was your favorite?

Sargent Ransom

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I would not make a film of this book. No film could do it justice.

Any additional comments?

After listening to Sargent Ransom's diary, Memorial Day holds more meaning to me. So many soldiers fighting in the Union Army died in Andersonville prison camp. Our soldiers are brave people and worthy of our respect and remembrance for their sacrifice in service to our country.

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  • Performance
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Good read!

The story is riveting, shedding light on the horrors of Andersonville. Yet, Adrian Cronaurer does a great performance as narrator, John L. Ransom was young during his imprisonment at Andersonville and a younger narrator would have been better.

  • Overall
  • Martha
  • rapid city, SD, USA
  • 04-03-03

interesting history

I love to read diaries. This one was intersting, but got a little long. The shocking conditions of the prisoner of war camps was repeated over and over and after a while got depressing.

3 of 11 people found this review helpful