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The officers in charge of this prison lived in constant dread of an uprising among the prisoners. At one time less than twenty-three hundred effectives, almost all of them raw militia and generally inefficient, were guarding thirty-two thousand prisoners. The order to shoot without hesitation any prisoner crossing the ‘dead-line,’ which was maintained in all stockade prisons North and South, was a matter of vital necessity here when the prisoners so far outnumbered the guards. This condition of affairs is what gave rise to the famous order of General J. H. Winder for the battery of artillery on duty at Andersonville to open on the stockade should notice be received that any approaching Federal forces from Sherman's army were within seven miles.

Close to the ‘dead–line’ at Andersonville

Close to the ‘dead–line’ at Andersonville


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John H. Winder (1)
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