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[236] precautions when men were dying from fifty to a hundred a day. General Winder and Lieutenant Wirz can never be absolved from their awful responsibility for this wholesale slaughter which they could so easily have stopped in great part. As to how far President Davis is to be blamed, there will probably always be a difference of opinion. That he knew in a general way of the enormous mortality, and of the charges against General Winder, cannot be doubted, the agitation was so loud and long, and official reports so outspoken, and he admits that he knew them, but was always convinced that they were unfounded from his reliance on Winder's character; and he certainly paid no attention to them except to enlarge Winder's power — an indifference for which he can hardly be acquitted at the bar of history. No doubt the North might have pushed exchanges, and managed its own prisoners better; but these incidents of warfare cannot excuse General Winder; and the death-rate of Northern prisoners (which has never been satisfactorily calculated, by the way) seems never to have approached the rate of Andersonville, although it apparently exceeded the other Southern prisons. While we are compelled to differ with the Secretary on this point, we must heartily express our admiration for the energy and desire for truth which made this enterprise possible in the impoverished South. We hope that their Northern subscription list will be extended, for these are volumes that no library, public or private, that pretends to historical fulness, can afford to be without. Cannot this example be imitated in the North, so that we may preserve, while it is yet possible, the personal recollections of the Northern actors in the national struggle? The late discussion over Lookout mountain shows how much is still in doubt.

The reader will see with surprise the charge that the writers who are contributing so well to the science of history have been excluded from the national archives. These surely should be opened to the historian in the freest manner,1 with every assistance of arrangement and index; and every pains should be taken to make the collection complete by the purchase or exchange of copies.

For the compliments contained in the above we make our cordial acknowledgments. That a historical magazine, which is just completing its thirty-second volume, and which has won so wide a reputation for ability, should deem our new enterprise of such value “that no library, public or private, that pretends to historical fulness, can afford to be without” our Papers, is, of course, very gratifying to us. But in reference to the criticisms, we have a word of reply.

We are glad that our critic is. constrained to admit that Major Walthall “makes sad work of Wilson's account” of the capture of

1 The newspapers announce that free access to the archives has recently been granted.--Editor Historical and Genealogical Register.

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