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Jump Back in Time Civil War (1860-1865)
Colored sketch of prison camp
A prisoner in a Union prison camp included this sketch with a letter to a cousin in 1864

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Henry Wirz, Former Commander of Confederate Prison Was Hanged
November 10, 1865

Until 1863, the Union and Confederate armies kept prisoners of war to a minimum with regular trades of prisoners. But when U.S. authorities ended prisoner exchanges, the number of Union prisoners in Richmond swelled to an unmanageable size. These exchanges ended because the Confederacy refused to exchange black prisoners. The Andersonville prison was hastily constructed, and its facilities were completely inadequate. Nonetheless, prisoners were brought in, forced to provide their own shelter, scrounge for whatever food they could find, and drink from a contaminated water supply. Many men died of starvation and disease. Of the more than 45,000 soldiers sent to Andersonville during 1864 and 1865, approximately 13,000 died there.

Henry Wirz, led to the gallows with a black robe draped over his shoulders, paid for all these events with his own life.
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