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[16] Napoleonic wars, which shook the foundations of Europe. The whole story of the prisoners whom fortune threw at the mercy of the contending forces in the first years of the nineteenth century has not been told—perhaps wisely —though even here it was indifference or low standards rather than deliberate intent which made life in Dartmoor a living death to the French and American captives confined there.

Never in history were money and effort so lavishly expended upon the cure of disease and the care of the wounded as during the Civil War; and never before was effort so well rewarded. A few years before, great captains had repudiated any obligations to their sick or wounded. These were no more than the dead on the field. Only the man able to carry a musket, a lance, or a saber had their attention. That effort was misdirected during our great contest is true. Only supernatural wisdom and more than mortal strength could have brought the surgeon, the sufferer, and the relief together at precisely the right moment on every occasion, but the effort to accomplish this impossible task was made.

The echoes of the guns in the Crimea had hardly died away when the Civil War began. Yet during that terrible winter of 1854-55 the mortality from sickness in the English camps, was so great that, had it continued, the whole English army would have been wiped out in less than a year. Compare this record with that of the United States army as told in the following pages and see what advance a few years had brought. While the medical records of the Confederate Armies do not exist, we know that in that service, also, extraordinary results were accomplished.

The picture which introduces these paragraphs has a significance which cannot be over-emphasized. It is a section of the line of march of the grand review of the armies of the United States, held in Washington May 23-24, 1865. Occupying a place of honor among the marching thousands are ambulances. When before could an army have dared to boast of the provision made for those incapacitated by disease or wounds?

In the preparation of the prison sections, the author has consulted a large number of the published accounts of experiences, has talked with dozens of one-time prisoners, and has corresponded with many more. The conflicting accounts have been checked by the contemporary documents contained in the eight prison volumes of the ‘Official Records of the Union and ’

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