Imagine yourself as a prisoner of war (POW) struggling to survive in a disease-ridden prison, sometimes in aching isolation, sometimes in filthy, overcrowded conditions. Imagine the day-to-day uncertainty when all you can think about is food, water, freedom, and death.

“No one can imagine the agony of continued hunger unless he has experienced it. I have felt it, witnessed it, yet I cannot find the language to adequately describe it” ~ POW George Tibbles, 4th Iowa Infantry

Established in 1970, Andersonville National Historic Site has three main features: The National Prisoner of War Museum, which also serves as a visitor center; the Prison Site; and Andersonville National Cemetery.

Andersonville National Cemetery, established July 26, 1865, is a permanent resting place of honor for deceased veterans. The first interments, in February 1864, were soldiers who died in the prison (13,000). By 1868 over 800 more, totaling 13,800, interments were added that died in hospitals, other prison camps, and on battle fields of central and southwest Georgia. 500 of these graves are marked “unknown US soldier”. Today the cemetery contains over 19,000 interments.

 

The camp was covered with vermin all over. You could not sit down anywhere. You might go and pick the lice all off of you, and sit down for a half a moment and get up and you would be covered with them. In between these two hills it was very swampy, all black mud, and where the filth was wmptied it was all alive; there was a regular buzz there all the time, and it was covered with large white maggots.” ~ Sgt. Samuel Corthell Co. C, 4th Massachusetts Calvary

 

Franklin D. Roosevelt was a frequent visitor (41 trips) to Warm Springs from 1924-1945. Dowdell’s Knob was one of his favorite spots for both quiet contemplation and picnics. FDR visited this spot overlooking Pine Mountain Valley as a private citizen, as governor of New York and as 32nd president of the U.S.

He wanted more people to visit the area and urged the building of the scenic highway across Pine Mtn. and the construction of the spur here (1937)
President Roosevelt had the grill built to help him enjoy picnics in his more formal style. He preferred linen-draped tables with hot dishes served from silver. In place of a blanket he preferred to sit on a chair or on an automobile seat placed on the ground.

FDR came here to contemplate the upcoming founding of the United Nations and the Americans dying on Okinawa and in Germany during his final trip to Warm Springs, April 1945.

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ~ Albert Einstein

Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to 1300. Today the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States. (NPS)

Open daily, year-round.
After wanting to visit this place for many years, I finally got a chance to see it with my own eyes. I truly was not prepared for how awesome it was.

It was a gorgeous sunny, yet cool day in February. There weren’t many people there; even on a Sunday. My husband and I practically had the park to ourselves. We enjoyed the entire park. There were many trails with stunning views. The cliff dwellings were quite amazing to see, as were the pueblo sites.The visitor center was extremely informative. There were archives of photos, pottery, clothing, and more.

I highly recommend, if you are ever around this area, to take the time and visit here!
All National Parks are worth the visit and I also recommend buying a year park pass.

(NPS- http://www.nps.gov/meve/index.htm)