"Andersonville Raiders," w/ Gary Morgan

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Ten Things You Never Knew About the Andersonville Raiders

Few incidents in the American Civil War have been as celebrated as the hanging of the Andersonville Raiders, six prisoners of war at Andersonville Prison who were court martialed and hanged by the other prisoners for the crimes of robbery and assault. The story goes that the raiders ruled the prison in a reign of terror until a group of regulators, led by Leroy Key and the members of the 16th Illinois Cavalry, rose up without any Rebel assistance to put an end to their prison crime spree. But is that what really happened?

By exclusively using diaries, service records and only memoirs and newspaper articles written within 5 years of the hanging, Gary Morgan has pieced together a very different picture of events. Did raiding in prison camps happen only at Andersonville? Were the raiders a major force within the prison? Were they really all deserters and bounty jumpers? Did the Confederate prison authorities really stand by and let the raiders have their way? Who was "Dowd," the man whose savage beating at the hands of the raiders prompted their downfall? Who were the sailors "A. Munn" and W. Rickson," the reported names of two of the raiders, in spite of the fact that no men by these names ever served in the Union Navy? What really happened at the trial that led to the executions?

Gary Morgan is an certified English and History teacher in Western Massachusetts. She is the recipient of a 2017 Friends of Andersonville Grant, and the author of Stackpole Publishing's upcoming book on the Andersonville Raiders. Her book on this subject will be out in early 2020.

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