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[46] In addition, for a time prisoners were held at Cahaba, Alabama, and during almost the entire war there were prisoners at Camp Ford, Tyler, Texas, and at Camp Groce, at Hempstead, Texas.

The question of the treatment of prisoners on both sides will be discussed more at length in a subsequent chapter. According to the rules and regulations, first set forth by both Departments of War, prisoners were to be fed precisely as regular troops, and humane regulations were announced. All rules, laws, and regulations must be carried out by men, and in the enforcement and administration of regulations there was much variance on both sides. In the North, the prisons were overcrowded, though none, perhaps, except Gratiot Street and Myrtle Street prisons in St. Louis, was so badly overcrowded as Andersonville, where hardly thirty-five square feet of ground to the individual was available when the stockade held the largest number.

Prison work is generally unpleasant, and difficulty in securing efficient commandants and guards was encountered. The more energetic and ambitious officers preferred active service in the field, and on both sides efficient soldiers were needed at the front. In some instances the commandants were civilians, given military rank for the purpose, and placed in charge of raw levies, who knew little or nothing of military discipline. In other cases they were partially disabled soldiers, organized in the North as the Veteran Reserve Corps. In the South, the guards were sometimes conscripted militia. Negro troops formed a part of the guard at several Northern prisons. Seldom was the nominal rank of the commandant higher than that of colonel, and yet many prisons held more than five thousand men; several, more than ten thousand, and Andersonville had at one time more than thirty thousand. Some men who might have been good officers had their responsibilities been less, failed ignominiously in the face of difficulties confronting them. They must satisfy their superiors, escape

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