By Jonathan Vance (editor)
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Extra info for Encyclopedia of Prisoners of War And Internment, 2nd ed.
Eventually, Allen and other officers were granted parole and the leader of the Green Mountain Boys settled on Long Island to await his exchange. But he chafed at the inactivity, and turned to drinking and brawling to pass the time. Then, after learning that his son had died of smallpox, he simply wandered away, thereby breaking his parole. Allen was quickly arrested as a parole violator and placed in solitary confinement in New York. With this, he reached his lowest point. Depressed that the war was passing him by and that, as a prisoner, he was prevented from joining “the list of illustrious American heroes,” as he put it, Allen slipped into a deep despair that was not even relieved when he was exchanged for a British colonel in May 1778.
They endured long and exhausting treks, only to discover there were no buildings to shelter them. When the first Union prisoners reached Andersonville, Georgia, in February 1864, there were no barracks; POWs slept in the open air, dug holes in the ground, or cobbled together rude shelters from scraps of lumber they found. The situation was the same for the hundreds of thousands of German soldiers who surrendered when the Nazi state collapsed in 1945; there were simply not enough buildings available to house them, so many spent weeks living in open fields without shelter.
Many of the horrors that would soon characterize Camp Sumter, as the prison at Andersonville was officially known, can be traced to the fact that the facility was less than half completed when the first captives arrived on 24 February 1864. As there were no barracks for the healthy prisoners and no hospital for the sick, the prisoners were simply herded into the open stockade and left to fend for themselves. Camp officials could do little more than guard their charges. Such would be the case throughout the tragic history of the facility.