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 abundantly or safely; and that the United States Government was very dilatory and, in fact, very reluctant to make exchanges; that it was a long struggle before the Confederates had belligerent rights at all, and till then neither one side nor the other conformed to the recognized rights and humanities of war between nations; still, admitting all this to be a reasonable statement of the case, the result of it reduced our soldiers confined in prisons and pens like that at Andersonville to great extremes of illness and weakness, often to mere skeletons, and caused the untimely death of thousands. The fact which troubled me more than any other one thing-over and beyond my feeling of indignation and sorrow over the loss and the suffering — was that on the eve of the battle, after the exchange began to operate, sometimes 10,000 well men, strong and hardy, could be put in front of us, while our own proportional return of strong men would be less than 1,000. In behalf of our men we could not help claiming that it was the plain duty of Confederate commanders to parole the prisoners which they took, unless they were able to afford them proper, ample, and convenient shelter, and good, wholesome food equivalent to a soldier's rations. Indeed, whether the United States ever did maltreat its prisoners or not, it had long been contrary to the laws of nations to cripple an enemy by the disabling, starving, or killing of prisoners of war. War is bad enough, but cruelty to prisoners belongs to the dark ages and to egregious barbarism. Those who belonged to Sherman's army did not have much difficulty with those opposed to us concerning exchanges, yet we had but few opportunities
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