Just down the road along the Andersonville Trail we happened upon the Andersonville Prisoner of War site and cemetery. A chilling reminder of the atrocities of war; Regrettably within our own countries borders. Although eager to learn of American history, Paul & I were hesitant in subjecting ourselves to the solemn reminders of reckless horror and human loss. We initially viewed a film on the Prisoners of War (POW) and their experiences with battle and capture. Listening to the recordings gave life to their situation, they were real people. If I tried hard enough, I could see them among the daily habit; Even in most of the towns we bike through.
The Museum came next with memorabilia and stories from every generation of war. We looked on at relics and personal belongings, at one time owned by captured soldiers. A small brick memorial outside led to the Andersonville site. Once where thousands of people were kept in meager existence, left to die, is now a bleak field. Those who died were lined up in ditches hundreds of feet long and covered with dirt. Luckily, with Clara Barton’s direction, all but just a few have head stones appropriate with details for each individual Union soldier.
We visited on a brisk day with just a slight breeze. The cemetery was empty and the monuments rose from the ground, only overshadowed by the largest of magnolia trees. Each gravestone cast a shadow behind itself and all was quiet. We left with our bellies full of historic facts and figures. With bitter taste, we swallowed it down.