War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0590 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

General view of the medical topography and climate of Camp Sumter, Andersonville, Ga., and the country in the immediate vicinity.

Andersonville, with the surronding hills, including the C. S. militry prison, is elevated from 350 to 435 feet above the level of the ocean and its situated in Sumter Country, Ga., between the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers, seven miles due west of the former and forty-two miles east of the latter, in about 32o 10' north latitude, and 85o 26' west longitude, near the commencement of the western slope of the dividing ridge between the streams flowing south westerly into the Gulf of Mexico and those flowing southeasterly into the Atlantic Ocean. Fort Valley, twenty-nine miles northeast of Andersonville, at an elevation of about 530 feet, lies upon the crest of the ridge running between the Ocmulgee and Flint Rivers, the former, uniting with the Oconee and forming the Atlamaha, empties into the Atlantic Ocean, and the latter, uniting with the Chattahoochee and forming the Appalachicola River, pours its waters into the Gulf of Mexico. From this dividing ridge the country slopes gradually toward the Atlantic on the southeast and toward the Gulf of Mexico on the soutwest. Andersonville is distant from the Atlantic Ocean in a straight line about 170 miles, the configuration of the coast of Georgia being such that the distance is about the same from Saint Catharine's Sapello, Altamaha, Saint Simon's, and Saint Andrew's Sounds, and is distant from that part of the Gulf of Mexico near where the Wakulla and Saint Mark's Rivers enter Appalachee Bay, 142 miles. The summit of the hill at Andersonville, upon which the C. S. general hospital has been located, is 435 above the level of the sea and is next to the highest point on the railroad between Oglethorpe and Albany, the highest point between these two places being 480 feet. High table land, with an average elevation of about 460 feet, lies between Andersonville and Americus, the highest point being 480.6 feet. The following are the elevations above the level of the ocean of several points about Andersonville: Railroad depot, 399 feet; hill opposite depot, 416 feet; North Branch of Sweetwater Creek at Andersonville, 360 feet; South Branch, 350.5 feet; highest hill in stockade, 400 feet. The town of Americus in 78 feet below the submit of the highest hill at Andersonville, and five and a half feet above the level of the South Branch of Sweetwater Creek.

The hills of this rolling country in and around Andersonville vary in height from 40 to 108 feet above the level of the water courses. The summit of the hill upon which the C. S. general hospital is located is elevated 108 feet above the branch of Sweetwater Creek, which flows at its base, and 178 feet above low water in the Flint River opposite this place.

Character of the soil.- The surface soil is sandy, with but little vegetable mold. For agricultural purposes the soil may be characterized as light, sandy, adn unproductive after the first few years of cultivation. May of he hills which have been cleared and cultivated present a barren surface, with varying admixtures of white sand and red clay. Some of the hills appear to be composed in large measures of sand, and upon the surface present a white, sandy, loose soil, in which the pouched rat or salamander burrows to a considerable depth. Others present a red color, resembling the red-clay hills of Middle and Upper Georgia. They contain, however, much less in their structure and are less productive. The red color is due to the admixture with the sand and clay of the oxide of iron. The hill are composed of