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[100] prisoners, to send our men home, and to get back their own, General Grant steadily and strenuously resisted such an exchange. * * *

“It is hard on our men held in Southern prisons,” said Grant, in an official communication, “not to exchange them; but it is humane to those left in the ranks to fight our battles. If we commence a system of exchanges which liberates all prisoners taken, we will have to fight on until the whole South is exterminated. If we hold those caught they are no more than dead men.” * * *

This evidence [says Dana] must be taken as conclusive. It proves that it was not the Confederate authorities who insisted on keeping our prisoners in distress, want and disease, but the commander of our own armies. * * * Moreover [says he] there is no evidence whatever, that it was practicable for the Confederate authorities to feed our prisoners any better than they were fed, or to give them any better care and attention than they received. The food was insufficient, the care and attention were insufficient, no doubt, and yet the condition of our prisoners was not worse than that of the Confederate soldiers in the field, except in so far as the condition of those in prison must of necessity be worse than that of men who are free and active outside.

This is the statement, as we have said, of the Federal Assistant Secretary of War, during the war, and, of course, he knew whereof he wrote. He was the man by whose authority General Miles put the shackles upon Mr. Davis, when he was in prison at Fortress Monroe, and was therefore prejudiced in the highest degree against Mr. Davis and the Confederate authorities generally. And his statement must be taken as conclusive of this whole question.

When we add to this the pregnant fact that the report of the Federal Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, dated July 19, 1866, shows that of the Federal prisoners in Confederate prisons only 22,576 died; whilst of the Confederate prisoners in Federal prisons 26,436 died, and the report of the Federal Surgeon-General Barnes, published afrer the war, showing that the whole number of Federal prisoners captured and confined in Southern prisons during the war was, in round numbers, 270,000 while the whole number of Confederate prisoners captured and confined in Northern prisons, was, in like round numbers, 220,000. From these two reports it will be seen that whilst there were 50,000 more prisoners in Southern than in Northern prisons, during the war, the deaths were four thousand less. The per centum of deaths in Southern prisons being under

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Fortress Monroe (Virginia, United States) (1)

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S. Grant (2)
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