Andersonville POW camp as an example of a civil war time polis
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An interesting example of a 19th century war time polis (city) was the Andersonville POW camp. It was established by the Confederate States of America’s authorities in February 1864 during the fraternal civil war waged between the Americans of North and South in the years 1861–1865. Over the 14 months of its existence the camp saw close to 45,000 prisoners coming from the army of the United States of America (the Union) of which 13,000 died. At one time in July and August 1864, 33,000 POWs lived in the camp. This made Andersonville the third city (polis) of the Confederacy, after Richmond and Charleston. In this paper I will elaborate on the reasons for founding of the camp, the beginnings of its existence as well as various aspects of the prisoners’ lives, like housing, provisions, medical care, policing or escapes.
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