The National Prisoner of War Museum in Andersonville opened its gates this Saturday evening for folks to experience the harsh conditions of a prisoner in the winter nights during the Civil War.
"It allows us to interpret, or talk about or teach about the prison conditions during the winter and during the night time," says park ranger Stephanie Steinhorst.
The Andersonville National Historic site opened it's gates for folks to tour the prison camp grounds and listen to historians tell the stories of those union prisoners.
"This in-field weapon was used on both sides of the war. It was imported from England. Predominately used in the south but northern troops had them also. They fired the same ammunition as a northern Springfield," says a living history volunteer.
Volunteers portrayed the often-overlooked winter period of the prison during the Civil War.
"Andersonville open here in 1864 in February and it runs through a 14 month span where around 45,000 prisoners pass through the gates," says Steinhorst
And Steinhorst says by the time the site closed in the spring of 1865, around 13,000 of those soldiers had died while they were here in Andersonville.
"Due to a combination of disease, malnutrition, violence and just the various conditions that were shaped by the prison site itself."
They say the site is a historic footprint from the early days of the country's largest domestic war.
"It tells the story of not just the civil war but also POWs throughout history," says Steinhorst.
And they say the after-dark prison site really allowed folks to understand the harsh conditions of a long cold winter night over 100 years ago.
The park will host another Night at the Museum event January 26 from 6 to 9 p.m.