We headed down I-75 yesterday morning. It was raining, and the forecast was not great. I was determined to go, however, since various things had interrupted my plans in recent weeks. I was armed with Alfred's grave site number that I had obtained online, as well as a map and my digital camera. At some point, before we reached Andersonville, I began to wonder about Alfred's arrival to the prison camp. Since he was captured in April 1864, it is very close to being exactly 146 years ago. Was it raining when he arrived? If it was, there was no shelter once he stepped off the train that brought him to his final "home."
|Alfred's Gravesite Number & Section|
Instead of going directly to the cemetery, we drove around the actual prison camp site. This was not my first visit to Andersonville, but you can never get used to the feeling that comes over you when you take the time to try and absorb what happened on the ground on which you are standing.
|View from Star Fort, the headquarters of the commandant.|
Using the information gathered, his marble military tombstone was easy to find.
I don't often spend long periods of time at particular gravesites when visiting cemeteries. I rarely know much about the individual sites I photograph until after I return home and research is conducted. This time was different. I told Alfred all about how I first found his brother Henry in Fitzgerald. How I learned of Alfred from the research of Henry, and how I decided it was necessary for me to visit Alfred at Andersonville as well. I wondered if anyone had ever visited Alfred. Was his brother Henry ever able to make the trip? Could he even have mustered the strength it would have taken for him to return to this horrible reminder of his time spent at Andersonville? I certainly do not know, but I got the distinct feeling this Georgia girl was a welcome visitor.
While that was probably the best place to end this post, I want to share with you a couple of photos from one of the monuments closest to Alfred. It so happens to be one erected in 1911 by his home state of New York.
|Front of NY Monument|
(Click to enlarge.)
|Back of NY Monument|