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[512] prisoners in our possession, whenever the government of the United States would honestly meet us for that purpose. At any hour perfect arrangements could have been made with us for the restoration to it of all its soldiers held as prisoners by us, if its authorities at Washington had consented so to do. On them rests the criminality for the sufferings of these prisoners.

Further, the government of the United States, in order to effect our subjugation, devastated our fields, destroyed our crops, broke up our railroads, and thus interrupted our means of transportation, and reduced our people, our armies, and consequently their soldiers, who were our prisoners, all alike, to the most straitened condition for food. Our medicines for the sick were exhausted and, contrary to the usage of civilized nations, made contraband of war by our enemy. After causing these and other distressing events—of which Atlanta, where the women and children were driven into the fields and their houses burned, and Columbia, with its smoking and plundered ruins, were prominent examples—after every effort to excite our slaves to servile war—this government of the United States turned to the Northern people and, charging us with atrocious cruelties to their sons, who were our prisoners, appealed to them again and again to recruit the armies and take vengeance upon us by our abject subjugation or entire extermination. It was the last effort of the usurper to save himself.

But there is another scene to be added to these cruelties. During all this time, Northern prisons were full of our brave and heroic soldiers, of whom there were about sixty thousand. The privations which they suffered, the cruelties inspired by the malignant spirit of the government, which were inflicted upon them, surpass any records of modern history; yet we have had no occasion to seek out a Wirz for public trial before an illegal court, that we might conceal behind him our own neglect and cruel sacrifice of them. That we might clothe our brave men in the prisons of the United States government, I made an application for permission to send cotton to Liverpool, and therewith purchase the supplies which were necessary. The request was granted, but only on condition that the cotton should be sent to New York and the supplies bought there. This was done by our agent, General Beale. The suffering of our men in Northern prisons caused the application; that it was granted, refutes the statement that our men were comfortably maintained.

Finally, to the bold allegations of ill treatment of prisoners on our side, and humane treatment and adequate supplies on that of our

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