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Echoes Through Time

4 hours 21 minutes ago

Echoes Through Time shared Andersonville National Historic Site's post.

A Glimpse into Andersonville’s Archives

Chartered in 1883, the Women’s Relief Corps (WRC) served as an auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic. In 1896 they obtained the land that was once the location of the infamous Andersonville Prison, and right away started making improvements to the run-down condition that they received it in.

One of their first projects was constructing a cottage on site for families visiting Andersonville National Cemetery to use. This nine room, brick cottage sat on a piece of newly acquired land that the WRC purchased as an expansion to their preservation effort. Their ultimate goal: to memorialize the prison site. Efforts to create a memorial to the Civil War prisoners who suffered and died in the prison included a memorial rose garden, memorial orchard of pecan trees, and a road surrounding the historic prison site for visitors to use to explore.

By 1910, the grounds became almost too expensive for the WRC to maintain. It was then that the U.S. Government agreed to a land transfer. A WRC monument was erected at Andersonville in 1911 to honor the efforts of the women managing the site, followed by a monument to one of their founding members, Lizabeth Turner. While the government owned the land, however, the WRC still managed some aspects of it until the 1950s.

The WRC medal handed out to its members was in the shape of a Maltese cross. Some with red, white, and blue ribbons, others (like the one pictured) have the red, white, and blue stripes incorporated into the medal. “F.L.C” is engraved in each one to remind members of the Corps’ founding motto: Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty.

This metal, along with other items in our collections, will be on display in the National Prisoner of War Museum later this year. (JH)(NPS Photo)