Samuel J. Gibson

A survivor of the most notorious prison camp of the Civil War, Samuel J. Gibson was born in 1832 near Kittanning, Pennsylvania. Following his marriage to Rachel Gibson and the birth of their daughter, Gibson enlisted as a corporal in the 103rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Regiment on November 1, 1861. This regiment saw extensive action during the Peninsula Campaign in 1862, most notably at Fair Oaks. In April 1864, while defending the federal garrison at Plymouth, North Carolina, the 103rd was captured by Confederate forces under the command of General Robert Hoke. Gibson and his fellow Union soldiers found themselves transferred to Andersonville Prison in south-central Georgia. An open stockade built to hold 10,000 prisoners, the population at Andersonville grew to more than 30,000 during the summer of 1864. The overcrowding plus poor sanitation, inadequate food, exposure to the elements, and disease quickly produced a high mortality rate for the inmates. Approximately fifty percent of the 103rd Pennsylvania Regiment taken captive would die in Andersonville. Fortunately for Samuel Gibson, he was not among the deceased. Paroled from Andersonville on December 16, 1864, he eventually returned to active duty and was discharged on March 14, 1865.

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