for the relief of many thousands anxious in regard to the fate of their dead. Before an
answer could have returned, I received a furlough from the Commandant of the camp.
I then went to my home in Terryville, Connecticut, where I was taken sick the next day
after my arrival, which confined me for three weeks.
On the twelfth of April, I received a telegram from the War Department, requesting me
to come immediately to Washington and bring my rolls, and if found acceptable, I
should be suitably rewarded. I started the next day for Washington. Arriving there, I
went to the War Department, and learned that the person (Col. Breck) with whom I
was to make arrangements was absent at the Fort Sumpter celebration. I left my rolls
with the cheif clerk for safe keeping.
In a day or two Colonel Breck returned, and he informed me that the Secretary of War
had authorized him to pay me three hundred dollars ($300) fot the rolls. I told him I did
not wish to sell the rolls, that they ought to be published for the benefit of the friends of
the dead, for whom chiefly they had been copied. He told me if I wish to publish them,
the Government would confiscate them, that I would have until 9 o'clock the next
morning to decide whether I would take the three hundred dollars or not. The rolls
were then in his possession. I told him if I could have a clerkship in the department
On the seventh of July, 1863, I was taken prisoner near Hagerstown, Maryland., and
taken to Belle Island, Richmond Virginia, via Staunton, where I remained five months. I
then went to Smith`s Tobacco Factory, Richmond, where I kept the account of
supplies received from our Government, and issued to Federal prisoners of war. In the
latter part of February, 1864, I was sent to Andersonville with a squad of four hundred
other prisoners from Belle Isle, arriving there the first day of March.
I remained inside the stockade until the middle of May, when I was sent to the hospital.
On the 15`th of June I was paroled and detailed as a clerk in Surgeon J.H. White`s
office, to keep the daily record of deaths of all Federal prisoners of war. I also made
The Andersonville prison, officially known
as Camp Sumter, was the largest
Confederate military prison during the
American Civil War. The site of the prison
is now Andersonville National Historic Site
in Andersonville, Georgia. It includes the
site of the Civil War prison, the
Andersonville National Cemetery, and the
National Prisoner of War Museum.
In December 1863, the construction of a
prison for 10,000 prisoners was begun.
Prisoners began arriving in late February
of 1864, and by June the population had
soared to 20,000 men. On July 1, a
|Andersonville, the famous Confederate prison in Georgia, had a 29% mortality
rate. In August of 1864, the prison held 33,000 prisoners of war. One hundred
men died each day. There are 12,844 Union graves there.
Maybe I am missing something, but I just don't see any clue to investigate on the red
cross one. Tamura Jones
Great Quiz!!!...lots of history lessons in this mone...hope I have a student(s) that I can
use it with this year... Rick Mackinney
I am not quite sure what the author of this question has in mind! I have read that the
National Prisoner of War Museum has been developed at the Andersonville site;
construction began in 1996. “April 9, 1998 not only commemorated the 56th
anniversary of the fall of the Island of Bataan during World War II, but marked a new
era of interpretation at Andersonville NHS.” Bataan, in the Phillipines, was the location
of a POW camp set up by Japanese officials during the Second World War. Prisoners
lived a miserable existence, just as they did during the Civil War at Andersonville, and
many died there. I think of French Polynesia as being Bora Bora, site of a U.S. military
base (W.W.11), and Tahiti where I would like to go and loll on the beach.
Note: You identified the photo on the left as a tombstone, but it is actually a monument
to Clara Barton. Barton is interred in Oxford, Massachusetts. Alan Lemm
Wow - I knew none of this. Never was a Civil War buff. Quite the story.
I did not know that Clara Barton had done all of this. In school we only learned about
her starting the Red Cross, but she was also a teacher and a great humanitarian for her
work with soldiers. Dawn Carlile
Yes he was an inspiring young man. To copy as many names as he did was amazing,
especially since he was so young at the time.
I agree with you about honoring the war dead, but also I find it disturbing that ordinary
people are so easily forgotten once they are gone.While doing my genealogical research
I have come across ancestors who have no stones and those who have stones with
incomplete markings. This summer I had my husbands grandmothers stone engraved (
she died in 1970 and still has two living sons) and put a stone on another grave. I find it
so disrespectful not to do these things. I have my gggrandparents yet to do.
Thanks for the partial credit. I was proud about how I figured out it was a civil war
grave - I noticed that different war graves had different designs. I thought that was
pretty good web sleuthing. And the info about Andersonville (courtesy of wikipedia)
was really interesting! Teresa Yu
|MUSING ON TWO STONES
Oh Me, Oh MY,
There is nothing apparent,
That catches the eye....
One on the left with a large red cross,
No outstanding clues, it leaves one cold,
The other identifies two U. S. Soldiers dead,
Nothing else apparent, except it's old.
One on the right gives a group of numbers
Perhaps this is a clue,
Could it be that a date is shown,
Of 13 July 1918 in perfect view?
In French Polynesian that date was important,
As Queen Solote Tupou III now ruled the country wide,
The country contacting an epidemic of massive proportions,
Causing international concern from every side.
Some possible connection to the Red Cross stone,
Gives a hint of help exhibited by that Society so named,
To the relief of many during the pandemic tragedy,
Helping to establish that Society becoming famed.
I may be on the wrong road,
To solving this photo test,
But using the tools that I could find,
And the time I had to solve the quest.
Oh Me, Oh My,
I did give it a try!
Robert Edward McKenna
Quiz Poet Laureate
Oh my oh me,
You did your best, I agree!
No clue but the Red Cross?
Surely you jest
C'mon and think
Give it a guess.
Two people worked hard
Without asking for fame,
To give each a grave,
To give most a name.
Inter Arma Caritas
Is an important phrase
For different people
In different ways.
September 28, 2008
Black and White
This was a really interesting quiz. Inspirational actually, as I am now
going to make a point of going to Andersonville in the very near
future. I live only a couple of hours away, and have known about it
for years, but up till now, never really thought about going to see it.
Just one of those things you take for granted I guess.
I couldn't blow up the first marker large or clear enough to make out
any inscriptions; so, I concentrated on the second marker to get me
started. It still took some time to find a picture on Google images
matching "2 US soldiers in one grave" ( the angelfire site). From
there I got the Google Books site by referencing the grave site
number and Andersonville together. After that, it was numerous sites
referencing the conditions at Andersonville which would cause men
to burrow into the ground like gophers for reasons other than escape
I still wasn't making a connection with the other marker through
numerous phrases using combinations of words including
burials-cave in-buried alive-grave marker manufacturer-civil
war-pow camp, etc.etc.
But using the words "Andersonville" and "Tahiti" led me to the
website regarding Dorence Atwater and his efforts to register the
dead. When I saw Clara Barton's name mentioned along with Mr.
Atwater's the connections were all finally made clear to me. I had
seen her name numerous times come up in my searches for "red
cross marker", "croix rouge marker", "memorial with big red cross",
etc. but none of my efforts brought up that exact picture as on your
quiz. But when I put in Clara Barton-Andersonville-marker....BOOM
there it was. I'd danced all around it.
So, to answer the questions as asked
1. The marker and tombstone are both located at Andersonville, Ga
National Cemetery . (Clara isn't buried here so it isn't technically a
2. Clarence Atwater, one time prisoner and registrar of the dead at
Andersonville, and subsequent aide to Clara Barton (and others) to
properly mark the graves, was buried in French Polynesia upon his
|How John Solved the Puzzle
|Monument to Dorence Atwater
Terryville section of Plymouth, CT
Born-Terryville, Conn. February 3, 1845
Died-San Francisco, Cal. November 26, 1910
Buried-Tahiti, Society Islands
This memorial is dedicated to our fellow townsman
for his patriotism in preserving to this nation
the names of 13000 soldiers dead while a prisoner
at Andersonville, GA.
|If you have a picture you'd like us to feature a picture in a future quiz, please
email it to us at CFitzp@aol.com. If we use it, you will receive a free analysis of
your picture. You will also receive a free Forensic Genealogy CD or a 10%
discount towards the purchase of the Forensic Genealogy book.
|1. The stone on the right is a tombstone located
in the Confederate prison in Andersonville, SC.
The stone at the right (actually a monument, not a tombstone) is dedicated to
Clara Barton, the founder of the Red Cross. She worked with Dorance Atwater
to mark the graves of over 12,000 men who died in the filth of the Andersonville
Prison. Without their help, these men would have been buried as unknowns.
2. Later in life, Dorance Atwater became US Consul to the Seychelle Islands,
and then to Tahiti, where he lived the rest of his life.
He died in San Francisco while on a trip to get medical treatment,
but his body was returned to Tahiti for burial.
|Read more and order.
warm summer weather in the midst of
such fearful surroundings, was more than
we cared to think of just then."
The Andersonville prison stockade was
built around a small swamp. The prison
staff and their horses, hogs, and chickens
lived along the stream just outside the
stockade on the north side, just before the
little stream entered the prison. The creek
was used for dumping trash, for bathing,
for the disposing of human and animal
waster and for other unclean uses. Rain
the summer of 1864, Union prisoners suffered greatly from
hunger, exposure, and disease. Within seven months, about a
third of them died from dysentery and scurvy and were
buried in mass graves, the standard practice by Confederate
prison authorities at Andersonville.
The guards, disease, starvation, and exposure were not all
that prisoners had to deal with. A group of prisoners, calling
themselves the "Andersonville Raiders," attacked their fellow
inmates to steal food, jewelry, money, and clothing. They
were armed mostly with clubs, and killed to get what they
wanted. Another group rose up to stop the larceny, calling
themselves "Regulators." They caught nearly all of the
"Raiders," who were then tried by a judge (Peter "Big Pete"
McCullough) and jury selected from a group of new
prisoners. This jury, upon finding the "Raiders" guilty, set
punishment that included running the gauntlet, being sent to
the stocks, ball and chain, and, in six cases, hanging.
northern extension was opened to the prisoners who subsequently tore down the
original north stockade wall to use the timbers for fuel and building materials. By
August, over 33,000 Union prisoners were held in the 26.5 acre prison. Eventually,
12,913 of the approximately 45,000 Union prisoners who were held at Andersonville
died because of starvation, malnutrition, diarrhea, and disease.
A Union soldier described his entry into the prison camp:
"As we entered the place, a spectacle met our eyes that almost froze our blood with
horror, and made our hearts fail within us. Before us were forms that had once been
active and erect;—stalwart men, now nothing but mere walking skeletons, covered
with filth and vermin. Many of our men, in the heat and intensity of their feeling,
exclaimed with earnestness. "Can this be hell?" "God protect us!" and all thought that
He alone could bring them out alive from so terrible a place. In the center of the whole
was a swamp, occupying about three or four acres of the narrowed limits, and a part
of this marshy place had been used by the prisoners as a sink, and excrement covered
the ground, the scent arising from which was suffocating. The ground allotted to our
ninety was near the edge of this plague-spot, and how we were to live through the
carried the body wastes of all the animals and the Confederate humans in to the Union
prisoners as their only drinking water. All lived with miserable intestinal problems.
Many died horrible deaths of disease.
At Andersonville, a light fence known as "The Dead Line" was erected about 3 feet
inside the stockade wall to demarcate a no-man's land keeping the prisoners away from
the stockade wall, which was made of rough hewn logs about 16 feet long. Anyone
crossing this line was shot by sentries in the pigeon roosts.
Andersonville Prison was frequently undersupplied with food. Even when sufficient
quantities were available, the supplies were of poor quality and poorly prepared. During
In the autumn of 1864, after the capture of Atlanta, all the prisoners who could be
moved were sent to Millen, Georgia, and Florence, South Carolina. By mid-November,
all but about 1500 prisoners had been shipped out of Andersonville, and only a few
guards remained to police them. At Millen, better arrangements prevailed, and when,
after General William Tecumseh Sherman began his march to the sea, about 5,000
prisoners were returned to Andersonville, under somewhat improved conditions.
During the war, 45,000 prisoners were received at Andersonville prison, and of these
12,913 died. A continuing controversy among historians is the nature of the deaths and
the reasons for them, with some contending that it was deliberate Confederate war
crimes toward Union prisoners and others contending that it was merely the result of
disease promoted by severe overcrowding, the shortage of food in the Confederate
States, the incompetence of the prison officials, and the refusal of the Confederate
authorities to parole black soldiers, resulting in the imprisonment of soldiers from both
sides, thus overfilling the stockade.
A young Union prisoner named Dorence Atwater had been chosen to record the names
and numbers of the dead at Andersonville for the use of the Confederacy and the
|If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
Federal Government after the war ended.
He believed the federal government would
never see the list, and was right in this
assumption, as it turned out. He sat next
to Henry Wirz, who was in charge of the
prison pen, and secretly kept his own list
among the other papers. When Atwater
was released, he put the list in his bag and
took it through the lines without being
caught. It was published by the New
York Times when Horace Greeley, the
owner, learned that the federal
government had refused and given
Atwater much grief. It was Dorence
Atwater’s opinion that Andersonville was
indeed trying to make soldiers unfit to fight.
After the war, Henry Wirz, commandant at Camp Sumter, was court-martialed on
charges of conspiracy and murder. The trial was presided over by Union General Lew
Wallace and featured chief JAG (Judge Advocate General)'s prosecutor Norton Parker
Chipman. A number of former prisoners testified on conditions at Andersonville, many
accusing Wirz of specific acts of cruelty. Some of these accounts have subsequently
been determined by historians to have been exaggerated or false. The court also
considered official correspondence from captured Confederate records, perhaps the
most damaging of which was a letter to the Confederate Surgeon General by Dr. James
Jones, who in 1864 was sent by Richmond to investigate conditions at Camp
Sumter. Wirz presented evidence that he pleaded to Confederate authorities to try to
more food and tried to improve the conditions for the
Unfortunately for Wirz, President Abraham Lincoln had
recently been assassinated, so the political environment was
not sympathetic. Wirz was found guilty of murder and was
sentenced to death. On November 10, 1865 he was hanged.
Wirz was the only Confederate official to be tried and
convicted of war crimes resulting from the Civil War. The
revelation of the sufferings of the prisoners was one of the
factors that shaped public opinion in the North regarding the
South after the close of the Civil War.
In 1891 the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of
Georgia bought the site of Andersonville Prison from
membership and subscriptions. The site was purchased by
the federal government in 1910.
Capt Henry Wirz for
Andersonville War Crimes
November 10, 1865
Dorence Atwater was a Union Army soldier, merchant,
entrepreneur, and United States Consul to Tahiti. He was born and
raised in Terryville, Connecticut, the third child of Henry Atwater
and Catherine Fenn Atwater. He was well-educated, and at 16 he
joined the Union Army to fight in the American Civil War. In July
1863, Atwater was captured and found himself among the first
batch of prisoners at Andersonville, Georgia. There, he kept a list
of the dead and made a secret copy of his own, which allowed
him, in cooperation with Clara Barton, to mark the graves of
otherwise unknown soldiers. After persecution and prosecution
by a small clique in the Federal Government, he was released
from prison by President Andrew Johnson and sent to the
Tahiti, where he was given the only Tahitian
royal funeral ever to have been awarded a non-
royal. He is buried beneath a magnificent 7000lb.
marker, next to his wife of 35 years. His
headstone bears the inscription, “He builded
better than he knew perchance he might awake
one day in surprise to find he had wrought a
monument more enduring than brass.”
According to his own account:
This record was originally copied for you
because I feared that neither you nor the
Government of the United States would ever
otherwise leard of the fate of your loved ones
whom I saw daily dying before me. I could do
nothing for them, but I resolved that I would at
least try to let you sometime know when and
how they died. This at least I am able to do now.
So many conflicting fumors have been in
circulation in reguard to these rolls and myself,
that I deem it prudent to give a breif statement of
my entire connection with this Death Register,
and to show how and why it has been so long
withheld from you.
Seychelles as a 23-year-old United States Consul. From there, he was sent to Tahiti to
be consul there. He met and married Princess Moetia "Moe" Salmon, and was
successful in shipping, pearl fisheries, and many other enterprises. He was a proficient
businessman. He worked with lepers and other charities and was beloved by the
Tahitian people, who called him "Wise Man."
He died in San Francisco on November 28, 1910, and in 1912 his body was returned to
|First page of the list of
compiled by Dorance Atwater
To see the full list of all
monthly and quarterly abstracts of the deaths, the
latter one was said to be for the Federal Government,
which I have since learned was never received.
The appalling mortality was such that I suspected that
it was the design of the Rebel Government to kill and
maim our prisoners by exposure and starvation so
that they would forever be totally unfit for military
service, and that they withheld these facts.
Accordingly, in the latter part of August, 1864, I
began to secretly copy the entire list of our dead,
which I succeeded in doing, and brought safely
through the lines with me in March, 1865.
Arriving at camp Parole, at Annapolis, Maryland, I
learned that I could not get a furlough on account of
my term of service having expired some seven
months before. I immediately wrote to the Secretary
of War, asking for a furlough of thirty days, for the
purpose of having my Death Register published
|Comments from Our Readers
Did you see the cemetery at Andersonville online?
There is only the one stone that is different from the
others and it has a dove on the top of it. No one seems
to know why this person has the unique stone. They
did research into the person buried there, but it didn't
seem to have any explanation. So many stories for such
as this are lost to families over time.
My family has the story of the widow who drove her
cart down from Jackson TN to Brice's Cross Roads,
MS to put a stone on her Confederate husband who'd
died there serving with Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Because he was buried close to the hospital tent, he is
not listed among the dead in the main cemetery there.
She planted the stone and a cedar tree behind it. By
|Congratulations to Our Winners!
Karen Kay Bunting John Sims
Teresa Yu Rick Mackinney
Don Draper Lydia Sittman
Alan Lemm Gary Sterne
Dave Doucette Judy Pfaff
Dennis Brann Rena Morse
Kitty Huddleston Matt Ellsworth
Wayne Douglas Dawn Carlile
Margaret Waterman Stan Read
John Chulick Mike Dalton
Karen Kay Bunting Jocelyn Thayer
Robert W. Steinmann Jr. Diane Burkett
Robert Edward McKenna, QPL
1950 the tree was so big it pushed over the stone. Unfortunately the family member
who kept up with the cemetery didn't have much sense of history. He removed the
original stone and replaced it with a 1950's red granite square and cut down the tree.
Sigh. Luckily my uncle had a photo of original stone and tree which he shared with me
before he died. I fear the story will die with me as there are no others still there to hand
the story down to. So too the stone with dove. Who knows who could have told the
story. Kitty Huddleston
Good One ! This was a real hard one for me for some reason, a real challenge-the
solution escaped me up until Saturday at around 5:30 PM, and I put my time into this
one ! A real historical brainteaser. I am attempting to do these quizzes with no hints, a
very good quiz, I learned alot, and hats off to contributor Marilyn Hamill.
Robert W. Steinmann Jr
Imagine being the one to write to all the families to let them know about their
son/father/husband, whether he was alive, seriously injured, or dead. I wonder what
[Clara Barton's] letters looked like and if any exist today. One link I found was for the
American Battle Monuments Commission. I discovered the WWI grave of my great
grandfather’s nephew in France doing the research for this quiz.
I thought George McJimsey was buried in Decatur County , IA where he was from
since the obit didn’t say differently. I decided to search his name and their he was.
|1. What is the connection between these two tombstones?
2. What is the connection to French Polynesia?
|Answer to Quiz #223
September 6, 2009
|This quiz was suggested by long time Quizmaster Marilyn Hamill
|which he had described to me,
three hundred dollars, and the
rolls back again as soon as
copied, I should consider it
satisfactory. To this he agreed. He
then informed me that it would be
necessary for me to enlist in the
General service in order to get the
clerkship. To this I objected but in
no other way was it available, and
I accepted. I was to muster out of
my origional enlistment, and given
permission to visit home, and
return for the duty by the first of
June. While in New York in the
latter part of May, I telegraphed to
Colonel Breck, asking if my rolls
were copied, to which I received
a reply , "NOT YET ".
Read the rest of Dorence
Atwater's fascinating account of
his death rolls. Click here.
|Greatest no. prisoners held on a |
|Day of the greatest no. deaths||
|No. prisoners received during |
|Daily average no. of deaths||
|Ratio of mortality per 1000 of |
|Mortality of 18,000 registered |