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 statement an abundance of clothing and bedding was issued to Confederate prisoners in the North is too sweeping. Large quantities of cast-off and rejected clothing were issued, but report after report of Union medical inspectors states that prisoners were frequently without blankets or straw. This was usually because the quartermaster was inefficient or careless. The number of prisoners held during the war can, perhaps, never be accurately known. General F. C. Ainsworth, when chief of the United States Record and Pension Office, is quoted by Rhodes as follows: ‘According to the best information now obtainable from both Union and Confederate records, it appears that 211,411 Union soldiers were captured during the Civil War, of which number 16,668 were paroled on the field and 30,218 died while in captivity; and that 462,634 Confederate soldiers were captured during that war, of which number 247,769 were paroled on the field and 25,976 died while in captivity.’ A letter under date of March 9, 1911, says that he has no further information justifying a change in these figures. Of course, this large number of Confederates captured includes the armies of Lee, Johnston, Taylor, and Kirby Smith surrendered during the months of April and May, 1865. This report is probably as nearly correct as can be made, owing to the partial destruction of records, though it differs very widely from two other reports which are often quoted: one by partisan historians of the North, attempting to prove inhumanity on the part of the South, and the other by Southerners who have attempted by it to show that conditions in Northern prisons were more fatal than those in the Southern. The first contention is based upon a report of Secretary Stanton, from information furnished by the commissary-general of prisoners. This says that ‘220,000 rebel prisoners were held in the North and about 126,950 Union prisoners in the South,’ and that 26,436 deaths of Confederate prisoners occurred, while 22,576 Union prisoners are reported to have died in Southern prisons.
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