|Union prisoners (NPS photo)|
|Bobby Hughes in white frock|
Among the living historians and re-enactors on hand will be about a dozen members of the Georgia Sharpshooters, portraying Confederate guards.
Approximately 3,600 men served as guards at Camp Sumter, with about 870 required to cover a 24-hour shift.
“They were doing their job,” said Hughes. “Many did not want to be there.”
They suffered from many of the same disease problems as the prisoners, although they sometimes received extra food to supplement meager rations. According to the National Park Service, 202, or 6.5% died, at Andersonville. Among the ill, the death rate was about the same as for POWs.
On Saturday, Hughes’ group will represent the 26th Alabama Infantry, which delivered the first groups of Union prisoners to Camp Sumter. They were more sympathetic to the growing plight of the prisoners, said Hughes, who lives in Savannah.
Eventually, old men and young boys in the Georgia Reserves did more of the guard duty. The Georgia Sharpshooters will portray that contingent on Sunday.
“They were a little more apathetic,” according to Hughes “They had never seen action.”
|Photo: Bobby Hughes|
Members of the Georgia Sharpshooters have portrayed Union soldiers in previous events at Andersonville. To Hughes, their story is of perseverance.
“You had your freedom taken away,” he told the Picket. “You learn to adapt, overcome and carry on.”