Andersonville is a city in Sumter County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 255. It is located in the southwest part of the state, about southwest of Macon, Georgia on the Central of Georgia railroad. During the American Civil War, it was the site of a prisoner-of-war camp which is now Andersonville National Historic Site.
The little hamlet of Anderson was named for John Anderson who was a Director in the South Western Railroad at the time it was extended from Oglethorpe to Americus in 1853. It was known as Anderson Station until the post office was established in November 1855 and the government changed the name of the station from “Anderson” to “Andersonville” in order to avoid confusion with the post office in Anderson, South Carolina.
During the Civil War, the Confederate army established Camp Sumter to house incoming Union prisoners of war. The town served as a supply depot during the period, and it included a post office, a depot, a blacksmith shop and stable, a couple of general stores, two saloons, a school, a Methodist church, and about a dozen houses. (Ben Dykes, who owned the land on which the prison was built, was both depot agent and postmaster.)
Until the establishment of the prison, the area was entirely dependent on agriculture, and, after the close of the prison, the town continued economically dependent on agriculture. The town changed very little over the years, until 1968 when the large scale mining of kaolin, bauxitic kaolin, and bauxite was begun by Mulcoa, Mullite Company of America, which turned of scrub oak wilderness into a massive mining and refining operation. The company now ships more than 2000 tons of refined ore from Andersonville each week.
In 1974, long-time mayor Lewis Easterlin and a group of concerned citizens decided to promote tourism in the town by turning the clock back and making Andersonville look much as it did during the American Civil War. Now today Andersonville welcomes tourists from all over the world who come for the history, museums, and to step back in time.