New site promotes Georgia's Civil War history - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New site promotes Georgia's Civil War history

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Heritage travelers, people who visit historic sites pump $192 billion into our country's economy every year.

Georgia hopes to get a bigger chunk of that money by promoting the state's Civil War sites.

It's part of an effort to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the war.

The Andersonville Historic Site is home to the National Prisoner of War Museum and the stockade where 40,000 Union prisoners of were held.

It's one of the country's most notable civil war sites and big part of an effort to promote Georgia's civil war history.

Every day park rangers tell the story of what happened here.

"Many of the men were dying in the summer, the cemetery was over a quarter mile away for a reason," said Eric Leonard, Chief of Interpretational and Education.

Visitors come from all over.

"We see about 130,000 visitors from a year," said Leonard.

"We've seen the movie Andersonville and we travel a lot and like to pay visits to historical sites," said Carol Hustad.

Carol and Bob Hustad are here from Iowa.

"I think it was laid out really nice, we haven't been to the grave site yet," said Bob Hustad.

They're visiting one of the sites highlighted on a new web site www.gacivilwar.org.

"we're on the cusp, the very beginning of sesquicentennial, the 150th anniversary, there is a lot of attention being paid in the next couple of months ,  the beginning of the war, Andersonville was a testament to the fact it was a 4 year war," said Leonard. 

The Confederate prison operated late in the war from 1864 to the end in 1865.

"During 14 months of operation more than 40 thousand Union soldiers were help prisoner here and nearly 13,000 died here," said Leonard.

Disease, infection and malnutrition killed most of them. At its peak Camp Sumter was the 5th largest city of the confederacy during that time.

From the graves, to the shacks that once dotted these grounds it's a Civil War story Georgia wants visitors to hear.

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