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[380]

And now let me quote from ‘Land and Leute in den Vereinigten Staaten’ (Leipzig, 1886), a work by Ernst Hohenwart (possibly a pseudonym), a German who spent nearly thirty years in the United States, and who fought as an officer in the Northern army. I shall italicize certain important phrases:

Much has been said of the cruel treatment of Northern soldiers in Southern prisons. Having myself been a prisoner in the South for more than thirteen months, and having been afterwards stationed with my regiment at a place where more than 25,000 Southern soldiers were confined, I think I have a right to an opinion as to the relative treatment of prisoners in the North and South.

It is true that the Southerners treated their prisoners much less well than the Northerners, for the simple reason that they had not the means to treat them better, and often, especially towards the end of the war, themselves suffered from want.

The South wished to permit the officers, according to European custom, to live in town on parole and half pay. I myself and other officers lived for some months in Raleigh, and were granted much freedom of movement, but. the North treated Southern officers like common soldiers, and the South afterwards did the same. So long as they were able they gave us good rations, afterwards very often spoilt bacon, cured with wood-ashes—they were short of salt—or beef cured with saltpetre, or fresh horse meat; a pound of bread a day being added, and sometimes a handful of beans or rice. During the winter we were unable to buy anything additional, but as soon as summer came, country people brought us provisions, which we were permitted to buy. The fare of our guards was not much better than our own.

Of intentional cruelty I saw nothing, but on the contrary, always found both officers and men very friendly and obliging, and most willing to alleviate our lot. When requested to bring us tobacco or other articles from town, they were always glad to do so, and I never heard of a single instance in which such a request was refused.

The horrors of Andersonville are not to be denied, but that was an exception—the cruel policy adopted by the Southern government to compel the North to exchange prisoners, which the North refused to do, etc.

Since writing the above I have seen another gentleman, who tells me that he knows a number of Confederates who ‘varied’ their ‘abundant’ diet at Johnson's Island with the flesh of rats, an article


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