the enemy, and he fought, and fought, and fought, until he wore out the opposition, because only by wearing them out could he hope to bring about the condition in which there would be a complete peace.’
Here is, at last, a practical acknowledgment in public by the President
of the United States
to a Northern audience of the truth of the oft-repeated, concise statement of the case.
We were not whipped, but we were worn out whipping the enemy!
We read that these words of the President
How many of that audience understood what he so adroitly said about ‘the enemy’ and about ‘wearing out the opposition?’
The inference would naturally be drawn that he fought the armies of Lee
; but how?
was defending Richmond
, and Johnston
was holding points of strategy; and we read: ‘He fought not cities, not points of strategy—he fought the enemy!’
Who were the enemy?
Some of the enemy were prisoners of war, nearly starving amid plenty, while a greater number of Northern prisoners, nearly starving, because we had very little with which to feed our soldiers in the field, were dying in Southern prisons.
But under no condition would they agree to exchange prisoners.
Because it kept Southern soldiers off the field to guard them, and every Northern prisoner helped to eat the remnant of food in the South
They even refused to take home their sick and dying prisoners when urged to do so, none being asked in return.
This week a monument will be unveiled at Andersonville, Ga.
, to Major Henry Wirz
, C. S. A. It will be recalled that he was executed, in the time of peace, while under the protection of a parole.
‘He was condemned to an ignominious death on charges of excessive cruelty to Federal prisoners.
He indignantly spurned a pardon proffered on condition that he would incriminate President Davis
These words are upon his monument.
But note, my brethren, the following words are on the other side of his monument: ‘It is hard on our men held in Southern prisons not to exchange them, but it is humanity to those left in the ranks to fight our battles.
At this particular time to release all rebel prisoners would insure Sherman
's defeat and would compromise our safety here.
Aug. 18th, 1864. Ulysses S. Grant