On February 27, 1864 this site became Camp Sumter/Andersonville Prison, a Confederate prison for Union soldiers captured during the American Civil War. Due to lack of supplies, overcrowding and other cruel conditions nearly 13,000 prisoners died in captivity at Andersonville. Causes of death included starvation, dehydration, dysentery (caused by the unclean water source the prisoners had to drink from), being shot by guards during escape attempts or violence between prisoners.
The Raiders and The Regulators
Two gangs rose up during the course of Andersonville Prison's run. The Raiders were a group of predatory Union troops who resorted to assaulting fellow prisoners and acts of theft to achieve their survival needs. Before long their crimes led to stealing for wealth and vanity. Another gang, the Regulators, was created in response to the Raiders. The Regulators set about capturing the members of the Raiders and held a trial. Six Raiders were executed by hanging for their crimes against fellow inmates. Other Raiders endured lesser punishments and were allowed to live.
Boston Corbett, an English immigrant, was a Union soldier who served time as a P.O.W. in Andersonville Prison. In April of 1865 Corbett was the soldier who shot and killed assassin John Wilkes Booth, disregarding the order that Booth be taken alive. An extremely religious man who had once castrated himself to prevent sexual temptation, Corbett would later claim that he was directed by God to kill Lincoln's assassin despite his military orders.
Captain Heinrich "Henry" Wirz, a Swiss immigrant and a former doctor, was commander of Camp Sumter from March 1864 until the prison was shut down a little over a year later. Wirz was captured by the Union within a month of the Confederacy's defeat. Wirz was tried for war crimes in regards to the conditions at Andersonville and was executed on November 10, 1865. He was the only person tried, convicted and executed for war crimes pertaining to the Civil War (unless perhaps you count the executed members of the Raiders).
Andersonville National Historic Site & National P.O.W. Musuem
The site where Camp Sumter stood is now Andersonville National Historic Site, a park that houses thousands of graves of soldiers who died during the Civil War (most of them the Union prisoners). The park is also home to the National Prisoner of War Museum. The Museum, opened in 1999, is dedicated to Americans who have suffered or continue to suffer as prisoners of war. Displays relate the history and experience of P.O.W.s from all American wars.
The Haunting of Andersonville National Historic Site
There have been reports of various apparently supernatural phenomena at the former prison site. There are stories of unexplained sounds such as gunshots, marching, voices talking and moaning. Apparitions are said to appear in the form of men in Civil War uniforms including, by some accounts, the apparition of Captain Wirz.