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[182] quantity of supplies demanded. It was not difficult to procure guards for the prisoners, the number of medical men and the amount of medical supplies were unlimited, and since all of these could be transferred easily from one locality to another, there was no physical reason why a prison in one State or section might not be as good as that in another.

The prisoner in the North got more to eat, and yet, during 1864, there can be no doubt that he often went hungry. The evidence seems to show that the claim so vigorously made by the Confederates that the prisoners received practically the same rations as the troops in the field was, broadly speaking, true, but the soldier had always the opportunity of picking an apple from a tree, or a turnip from a field. Stray chickens, sheep, or pigs occasionally disappeared mysteriously, and there were sometimes rabbits in the fields, squirrels in the woods, birds in the trees, and fish in the streams. A box from home came, to be shared, of course, with all his friends, who in turn would share theirs. If all these failed the citizens were expected, as a matter of course, to give food to hungry soldiers. And yet we are told that many of the Confederate prisoners captured during the last year of the war were so worn out by hardships and short rations that they fell an easy prey to disease in the Northern prisons.

Students of the war almost universally agree that the commissary-general of the Confederacy was unequal to his responsibilities, though the difficulties with which he had to contend were enormous. Even to the end there was food in the South, but it was in the wrong place. While citizen, soldier, and prisoner were starving in Richmond, Sherman was destroying millions of dollars' worth of supplies in Georgia. If the soldiers were hungry, it is not to be expected, perhaps, of human nature that the prisoners would be fed luxuriously. After 1863, the prisoners held by the Confederates were, generally speaking, hungry all the time. The same fact is true, however, of the armies of the Confederacy.

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