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02/24/2014 10:53 AM EST

150 years ago today the first of 45,000 Union prisoners of war entered Camp Sumter Military Prison at Andersonville. Between February 24, 1864 and early May 1865, nearly 13,000 of these American servicemen died in captivity at what was the deadliest site of the Civil War. During this conflict, nearly a half million soldiers were held prisoner at some point, and Andersonville was the deadliest and most famous of the more than one hundred Civil War prisons. Today Andersonville National Historic Site preserves the Camp Sumter prison site, Andersonville National Cemetery, and is home to the National Prisoner of War Museum, which is dedicated to telling the American prisoner of war story from throughout our nation’s history.

For more information about the Civil War sesquicentennial commemoration at Andersonville National Historic Site visit

Photo: National Park Service