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Gettysburg (Pennsylvania, United States) (search for this): chapter 27
of July, and it was evidently intended to embarrass us while in Pennsylvania, with the guarding and sustenance of such prisoners as should fall into our hands. This order found us in possession of more than 6,000 prisoners taken on the 1st at Gettysburg. About 3,000 of them were paroled, but their paroles were not recognized and they subsequently returned to the army without being exchanged, including some officers who solemnly pledged their honor to surrender themselves as prisoners in thnd they were carried to Virginia and held in custody. In addition to our willingness to parole these men, General Lee proposed to make an exchange of prisoners after the battle, but it was declined. Now if the prisoners brought off by us from Gettysburg subsequently suffered in prison, who was responsible for that suffering? The order in regard to the recognition of paroles was in violation of the well recognized principles of modern warfare. In the most ancient times, a captive taken in
Chantilly (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 27
nd if there was any at all, it was to be found in rare quantities and at the most enormous prices. The scanty supplies of provisions to which our own men were reduced can hardly be conceived of by one who was not present to know the actual state of the case. On the night after the second victory at Manassas, thousands of our men lay down to rest without having had a mouthful to eat all day. I was then in command of a brigade, and I was very well content, after the fight at Ox Hill or Chantilly, to make my supper on two very small ears of green corn, which I roasted in the ashes. On the next day and for a day or two afterwards, all that I had to eat was a piece of cold boiled fresh beef without either salt or bread, which I carried in a haversack. This was the strait to which a Brigadier General was reduced in our army. I have many a time on the march, while a division and corps commander, been glad to get a hard cracker and a very small piece of uncooked bacon for my dinne
Andersonville, Ga. (Georgia, United States) (search for this): chapter 27
ipping up to the side of the house and firing his revolver through a crack. Boston Corbet testified on the trial of Wirz, stating that he was a prisoner at Andersonville, and among other atrocities testified to, by him, he mentioned the fact that bloodhounds were kept to pursue escaped prisoners, and he said that he himself wite general officers tell the truth and which do not, let him say how much credence is to be given to the stories of those men who testified as to the horrors of Andersonville, and other Confederate prisons. When the general officers of the army were so loose in their testimony as to important facts affecting each other, what was toial in order to vindicate their action in his case, and failing in this, they must stand before the world as his murderers. Sufferings there were doubtless at Andersonville and other prisons, but how could they be avoided? Our men in the army were suffering, and our women at home were suffering. Could the men who came down to
Ox Hill (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 27
o our men, and if there was any at all, it was to be found in rare quantities and at the most enormous prices. The scanty supplies of provisions to which our own men were reduced can hardly be conceived of by one who was not present to know the actual state of the case. On the night after the second victory at Manassas, thousands of our men lay down to rest without having had a mouthful to eat all day. I was then in command of a brigade, and I was very well content, after the fight at Ox Hill or Chantilly, to make my supper on two very small ears of green corn, which I roasted in the ashes. On the next day and for a day or two afterwards, all that I had to eat was a piece of cold boiled fresh beef without either salt or bread, which I carried in a haversack. This was the strait to which a Brigadier General was reduced in our army. I have many a time on the march, while a division and corps commander, been glad to get a hard cracker and a very small piece of uncooked bacon
Virginia (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 27
order found us in possession of more than 6,000 prisoners taken on the 1st at Gettysburg. About 3,000 of them were paroled, but their paroles were not recognized and they subsequently returned to the army without being exchanged, including some officers who solemnly pledged their honor to surrender themselves as prisoners in the event their paroles were not recognized by their government. The rest declined to give paroles because of the order before mentioned, and they were carried to Virginia and held in custody. In addition to our willingness to parole these men, General Lee proposed to make an exchange of prisoners after the battle, but it was declined. Now if the prisoners brought off by us from Gettysburg subsequently suffered in prison, who was responsible for that suffering? The order in regard to the recognition of paroles was in violation of the well recognized principles of modern warfare. In the most ancient times, a captive taken in battle was held to have forf
Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania, United States) (search for this): chapter 27
from our army the men held as prisoners, by imposing on our already overtaxed resources the support of the prisoners themselves, as well as the diminution of the strength of our army by the detail of a force to guard them. While we were in Pennsylvania, President Lincoln had issued an order, declaring that no paroles given, unless at some of the places specified for the exchange of prisoners in the cartel which had been adopted, or in cases of stipulation to that effect by a commanding officer in surrendering his forces, would be recognized. I think the date of that order was the 1st of July, and it was evidently intended to embarrass us while in Pennsylvania, with the guarding and sustenance of such prisoners as should fall into our hands. This order found us in possession of more than 6,000 prisoners taken on the 1st at Gettysburg. About 3,000 of them were paroled, but their paroles were not recognized and they subsequently returned to the army without being exchanged, inc
United States (United States) (search for this): chapter 27
ilure to exchange would cripple us. The constitution of the United States, then unchanged in any respect, recognized the right of property in slaves, and guaranteed the return of such as should flee from service. The constitution of the Confederate States contained the same guaranty, and the institution of slavery was recognized by the laws and constitutions of all the States composing the Confederacy, from which States alone the Confederate Government derived its delegated powers. That government was bound to respect the laws of the States and the rights of the citizens under those laws, and to protect them. Granting, for the sake of the argument, that the United States may have had the right to employ as soldiers the captured or fugitive slaves, as it had to take into its armies deserters from ours, still it took them subject to all the rights of the owners and of the Confederate Government, in the event of their recapture, just as deserters taken in arms in the opposite camp
would turn those men loose to come back again to kill and plunder our people? Kindred to this is another charge of plundering and disfiguring the dead. Now as to the question of plundering, I cannot but think that it is more cruel to plunder the living than the dead, especially if the living be helpless women and children. I presume it is not necessary to state the reasons why I entertain this opinion. It is to me a little strange that the men who applauded Butler, Banks, Milroy, Sherman, and Sheridan, for plundering and rendering utterly desolate the houses of thousands of woman and children, should complain that our barefooted soldiers took the shoes from the feet of some of the men who had been engaged in this plunder and were killed in order that they might not be able to follow and fight the rest. I have myself but too often seen in the track of the Federal armies the evidence of how they plundered and destroyed the property of our people. Not content with taking
. To appreciate at its proper worth the evidence of the witnesses who have tried to fix upon the Confederate authorities this iniquitous charge of maltreatment of prisoners, it is only necessary to refer to the evidence of the general officers of the Federal Army before the Congressional Committee on the War. Let any candid man read, for instance, the evidence contained in that part of the report which refers to the battle of Gettysburg and the operations of the Army of the Potomac under Meade, where there is such palpable conflict, not as to opinions merely, but as to facts; and when he has determined in his mind which of those general officers tell the truth and which do not, let him say how much credence is to be given to the stories of those men who testified as to the horrors of Andersonville, and other Confederate prisons. When the general officers of the army were so loose in their testimony as to important facts affecting each other, what was to be expected of the subordi
Boston Corbet (search for this): chapter 27
after a farce of a trial, was hung for alleged cruelty to prisoners. As a specimen of the evidence given on his trial, it is only necessary to mention that of Boston Corbet, the man who killed Booth, while the latter, with a fractured leg, was in a house in flames and surrounded by a large party of Federal cavalry, by slipping up to the side of the house and firing his revolver through a crack. Boston Corbet testified on the trial of Wirz, stating that he was a prisoner at Andersonville, and among other atrocities testified to, by him, he mentioned the fact that bloodhounds were kept to pursue escaped prisoners, and he said that he himself with some othe served the same Lord that Daniel served when in the lions' den. There were many other witnesses in whose stories there was as little truth as in that of Boston Corbet, and rebel witnesses were denounced as unworthy of credit unless they would prove renegades and endeavor to propitiate their masters by turning against their c
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