The Civil War
Memorialized at Ebensburg War memorial
Cambria County, PA

JACOB L. MARDIS

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Memorial Plaque # 15 - Andersonville National Cemetery, Georgia

The Ebensburg War Memorial was erected in 1913 to honor the soldiers and sailors from Cambria County who fought for their country.  It contains the names of soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War and the Spanish American War.  It is located next to the old jail in Ebensburg.  It includes many, but not all, of the Blacklick Township soldiers who served in the Civil War (a.k.a. War of the Rebellion).  Included among the ranks of Blacklick Township veterans are one Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, a commander of an Emergency Militia unit, and two soldiers who who perished at Andersonville Prison Camp in Georgia, one of whom was Jacob L. Mardis.

Jacob L. Mardis of Belsano, Blacklick Township, Cambria County, PA was the son of Joseph Mardis (February 14, 1816 - October 19, 1898) and Mary Mardis (July 13, 1819 - July 6, 1893). In the 1860 federal census of Blacklick Township, Jacob was 19 years old and enumerated as the son of Joseph S. Mardis (age 44) and Anna Marie (or Mary) Mardis (age 41). The occupation of both Jacob and his father was listed as farmer. Jacob's siblings included Cyrus J. (age 14), George (age 11), and Elizabeth (age 10)

Jacob enlisted in Company A 40th PA Infantry (previously known as the 11th PA Reserves) on August 29, 1862. He was taken as a prisoner of war twice. First, he was wounded and captured at Fredricksburg, Virginia, on December 13, 1862.  Jacob was later released at City Point, Virginia, on January 12, 1863.  On May 30, 1864, he was transferred into Company A, PA 190th Infantry and was captured, at Mechanicsville, Virginia, on the same date as his transfer.  Private Mardis was subsequently transferred to the Andersonville Prison, near the towns of Americus and Plains, Georgia.

Andersonville Prison was built to encase a small swamp that had a small creek running in under the northern wall of the stockade and out under the southern wall of the stockade.  This creek provided the only water available except for the frequent bone-chilling rains. It was unsheltered and the ground was just bare dirt. This left the Union soldiers exposed to the 100+ degree heat of summer, along with sun stroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration.  During the 15 months during which Andersonville was operated, almost 13,000 Union prisoners there died of malnutrition, exposure, and disease and it became synonymous with the atrocities, which both North and South soldiers experienced as prisoners of war.  Built to accommodate 10,000 prisoners, by August 1864, over 33,000 Union prisoners were held in the 26.5 acre prison.

Private Jacob L. Mardis died from dysentery as a POW at Andersonville Prison, Georgia, on August 9, 1864, aged 23. He was buried in a nearby plot at the national cemetery, now designated with Andersonville Marker #5130. Jacobís parents and brother Cyrus J. are buried in the Belsano United Methodist Cemetery

 

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The Cemetery at Andersonville Prison - As it Was

496 Cemetery
Andersonville, GA 31711
229-924-0343
The first interment took place on Feb 27, 1864.  Designated a National Historic Site on October 16, 1970

Andersonville, or Camp Sumter as it was officially known, was one of the largest of many Confederate military prisons established during the Civil War. It was built early in 1864 after Confederate officials decided to move the large number of Federal prisoners kept in and around Richmond, Virginia, to a place of greater security and a more abundant food supply . During the 14 months the prison existed, more than 45,000 Union soldiers were confined here. Of these, almost 13,000 died from disease, poor sanitation, malnutrition, overcrowding, or exposure to the elements.

Today, Andersonville National Historic Site is the only park in the National Park System to serve as a memorial to all American prisoners of war throughout the nation's history. The 495-acre park consists of the historic prison site and the National Cemetery. Congress stated in the authorizing legislation that this park's purpose is "to provide an understanding of the overall prisoner of war story of the Civil War, to interpret the role of prisoner of war camps in history, to commemorate the sacrifice of Americans who lost their lives in such camps, and to preserve the monuments located within the site". In 1998 the National Prisoner of War Museum opened at Andersonville, dedicated to the men and women of this country who have suffered captivity. Their story is one of sacrifice and courage.

Photos and information courtesy of George R. Warholic at www.rootsweb.com/~pacblack/.

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