Part 1 of 2. “Andersonville The Untold Story of the Civil War” is a slickly produced, 1996 TNT Original Movie that originally aired on March 3rd, 1996. It was directed by legendary filmmaker John Frankenheimer about a group of Union soldiers during the 1864 Cold Harbor Campaign who are captured by Confederates and sent to this infamous Prison camp in Georgia. Although not action-packed for a war film, the movie did do a very good job with the material culture details – for the time it was made.
The film starred an unknown New York stage actor in the lead role – Jarrod Emick. It also starred Frederic Forrest, Cliff DeYoung, Jan Triska, Thomas F. Wilson (“Back to the Future”) and a young William H. Macy in a small but important role.
The program won a 1996 Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Directing for a Miniseries or a Special for director John Frankenheimer. It was nominated in six other categories as well, including a nomination for cinematographer, Ric Waite.
The film is loosely based on the diary of John Ransom, a Union soldier imprisoned there. Between1864–1865, more than 45,000 Union soldiers were imprisoned in Andersonville. 12,912 died. There was never a promised prisoner exchange. After the war, camp commander Captain Henry Wirz was hanged, the only Civil War soldier to be tried and executed for war crimes committed during the war