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[157]

The bright side of prison life—1861 These are some of the Union prisoners taken at the first battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861, at Castle Pinckney, in Charleston Harbor, where they were placed in charge of the Charleston Zouave Cadets under Captain C. E. Chichester. They received the same rations as their guardians, and were good-enough soldiers to make themselves quite comfortable. Later in the war, when rations grew short in all the Southern armies, prisoners suffered along with the rest. During 1863 the number of prisoners on both sides had increased so largely that their care began to be a serious matter—both on account of the expense of feeding them, and because of the number of soldiers withdrawn from service at the front in order to guard them. The cost of caring for prisoners by the tens of thousands was felt in the North as well as in the South, but in the latter section it finally came to be physically and economically impossible to keep the prisoners' rations up to standard. The South had nothing wherewith to feed its own soldiers and even went to the extreme of liberating 13,000 sick prisoners. Its resources were exhausted. It was lack of food quite as much as the exhaustion of military strength which caused the ultimate downfall of the Confederate States.

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