Thirty-three Thousand Prisoners in Bastile. South-west View of Stockade, Showing the Dead Line, Andersonville Prison, Georgia
A. J. Riddle (American, 1828–1897)
August 17, 1864
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Image: 8 x 12.1 cm (3 1/8 x 4 3/4 in.) Mount: 17.8 x 22.9 cm (7 x 9 in.)
New-York Historical Society Library, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections
Not on view
Known by the Confederates as Camp Sumter, Andersonville Prison was the most notorious Confederate facility for captured Union soldiers and officers. Its commander, Captain Henry Wirz, was the only Confederate to be tried and put to death for war crimes after Appomattox. An open-air stockade without wooden barracks for the prisoners, with little food or potable water, and with no medical facilities, the prison was severely overcrowded from the moment it opened. This exceptional image by A. J. Riddle—one of the only surviving landscape views from during the war by a Confederate photographer—was made for unknown purposes. Copyrighted in New York and sold by the artist at the end of the war, they articulate the cruel circumstances that about forty-five thousand soldiers suffered through in Andersonville’s fourteen months of existence. Thirteen thousand soldiers would die there.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Photography and the American Civil War," April 2, 2013–September 2, 2013.
Gibbes Museum of Art. "Photography and the American Civil War," September 27, 2013–January 5, 2014.
New Orleans Museum of Art. "Photography and the American Civil War," January 31, 2014–May 4, 2014.