AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - Just a few miles from Americus, more than 32,000 soldiers were held prisoner during the Civil War in Andersonville.
The notorious POW camp is now a National Park and Museum that gives visitors a chance to connect with a big part of our nation's history.
From the big prison doors.
To the tall wooden posts
The Andersonville war camp is living reminder of a time long since past.
"You can get the idea of the guard towers that were always watching over the prison site." said Acting Chief of Interpretation and Education Stephanie Steinhorst.
The tents and terrible living conditions still very real even 150 years later.
"To imagine shanties and tents and huts like this just amplified across this prison site for thousands and thousands of lives, this gives you a pretty stark image of what the prison life was like," said Stephanie Steinhorst.
Steinhorst says this park is more than just a trip to a former war camp.
It's a deeper look into the tragedies of war.
"Everyone should understand what the consequences of war are and hopefully honor those who have made that sacrifice," said Stephanie Steinhorst.
But the prison isn't the only thing drawing visitors to the rural town in South Georgia..
"At the heart of it these are family members, husbands, fathers, brothers and sons." said Steinhorst
Thousands of veterans are laid to rest here in one of the largest active national cemeteries.
For West Virginian Fred Justice it's a chance to find graves of those who fought for freedom.
"It's just very interesting to see all they had to go through and encounter as they were prisoners here," said Fred Justice.
And more than 100,000 people will make that same journey to Sumter County this year.
"And we'll take more" said Steinhorst.
hoping to uncover a little bit of history.