Monument Rededicated At Camp Sumter - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Andersonville, GA

Monument Rededicated At Camp Sumter

Now we go back in time.

It's been more than 150-years since Camp Sumter was closed to union prisoners. Located in Andersonville, Georgia, it was the largest p-o-w camp of the civil war. Today family members of imprisoned soldiers returned to rededicate a monument honoring soldiers from Pennsylvania.

A cool, brisk day greeted these Union soldier re-enactors. Flags whipped in the breeze as they marched to honor the almost thirteen thousand union soldiers who died in prison here. Charles George's great uncle was one of them.

"When I came through the walkway up here and looked down here, tears did come to my eyes with all the gravestones, it still does" said George.

The first dedication of the Pennsylvania monument happened one hundred years ago to the day.

For these it's not just about a monument, but the loved ones, great grandfathers even cousins who were imprisoned here and lost their lives here.

You only need to look a few feet off the road to see who the day honored. Bill Mock had two relatives confined at Camp Sumter.

"I think we need to look at the sacrifice that our ancestors on both side had gone through to give us our great country" said Mock.

For Richard Bowser, it's his first time at Andersonville. His great grandfather survived Camp Sumter and lived to be ninety eight  years old.

"The doctors were telling him he'd live a year, year and a half or two. But he did get back to western Pennsylvania and had a family"said Bowser.

For family members who came to honor those who served, it just re-affirms why this country is so strong. And why they'd drive so far to honor those long since gone but never forgotten.

Camp Sumter held more than forty-five thousand Union soldiers during the fourteen months it was open. Of those, five thousand were Pennsylvania soldiers. Eighteen hundred died.

In Andersonville, Georgia, Jon Kalahar, News Leader Nine.

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