Treatment of Fifty-Fourth prisoners.
not to cast aside passion and vindictiveness when dealing with a captive foe, especially during the prevalence of civil war, is, in modern times, a relapse into barbarism.
Submitted to this crucial test of civilization, the conduct of the Confederate government, as well as the individual acts of many in authority, toward the unfortunate Union soldiers and loyal citizens whom they captured and incarcerated, is an indelible stain upon the record of a people gallant in battle, if not wise in council.
The twelve hundred pages of reports, orders, and testimony, relating to the Special Committee of Five appointed by the House of Representatives, July 10, 1867, to investigate ‘the subject of the treatment of prisoners-of-war and Union citizens held by the Confederate
authorities,’ cannot be read without indignation and shame.
Therein will be found the fearful record which indisputably convicts the Confederate
authorities of wilful neglect of the dictates of a common humanity, as well as of the setting aside of international law, the violation of cartels, and the suspension of exchanges to compel the United States government to abandon to the merciless adversary a class of persons it had taken into its armies.
Stripped of necessary clothing, robbed of their valuables and of priceless mementos, the unfortunate captives, often wounded, were marched for miles over the roads or crowded like cattle into cars that bore them to this or that prison pen. Shrinking