deaths at Andersonville
from various causes, circumstances and diseases.
This number, I understand, before exchange took place, or our government consented to do so, reached some fifteen or sixteen thousand.
remarked to us before we quitted Andersonville
, that the object of our government in refusing to exchange was that they felt it hard to give soldiers for civilians.
“The time,” added he, “of thousands of those unhappy men in that stockade is out many months; thousand of others are rendered worthless for soldiers through long confinement, disease and privations — for I will admit that we have not the resources to treat your men as we would wish.”
Since I returned to the North
's words were confirmed, for it was semi-officially stated to me that, “It might look very hard that we refused to exchange; but we could not afford to do so. We would have to give a number of strong, well fed, available soldiers for a number of men broken down from campaigning, disease, and out of the service by the expiration of their term.”
A policy like this is the quintessence of inhumanity, a disgrace to the Administration which carried it out, and a blot upon the country.
You rulers who make the charge that the rebels intentionally killed off our men, when I can honestly swear.
they were doing every thing in their power to sustain us, do not lay this flattering unction to your souls.
You abandoned your brave men in the hour of their cruelest need.
They fought for the Union
, and you reached no hand out to save the old faithful, loyal, and devoted servants of the country.
You may try to shift the blame from your own shoulders, but posterity will saddle the responsibility where it justly belongs.