The Yankee prisoners on Belle Isle
We have a few interesting facts with reference to the Yankee
prisoners on Belle Isle
which show how false are the statements which teem through the Yankee
press touching the treatment and the condition of these prisoners.
With a view to the proper distribution of clothing and provisions sent by the North
to these prisoners, a board of officers--nay, two boards of Yankee officers, have been organized; one for the quartermaster's and another for the commissary's department, under whose direction the distributions are made.
We were present and saw a considerable lot of clothing in the course of distribution among the prisoners.
It was conducted entirely by the Yankee
board. --Col. Sanderson
, a former hotel-keeper in New York of a popular Southern house, or a house much patronized by Southerners, was chief of the proceeding, and managed it in a business-like style.
It was plain that every facility that could be expected from the most liberal administration of authority over prisoners was given for a fair, a complete appropriation to these men of everything that is sent to them from their homes.
Coming here to invade and desolate the homes of our people they have been captured, and yet they are treated with all the humanity and consideration that could be meted out to enemies coming in the form most in accordance with civilized warfare, and least abhorrent to humanity.
They generally look healthy, and though they may not at all times get the most liberal allowance of food, they get precisely the amount and the quality that is given to our own solders.
They certainly show no indication of suffering on account of food.
A fact which we gathered, among others of considerable importance, was the following: In five months sixty five
men have died on the island, and yet during the first three of that time only one
died ! At the termination of those three months it was ascertained that the Yankee Government
had broken off the exchange of prisoners, and a feeling of despondency prevailed at once among the prisoners.
Trifling cases immediately assumed a serious phase, and deaths increased most remarkably.
Thus it is seen in this fact how the inhuman Northern Government is persecuting its own soldiers by its deliberate and atrocious plan to starve out the metropolis of the Southern Confederacy by compelling an accumulation of Yankee prisoners here to be fed and guarded.
, who has been so studiously slandered by the Yankee
press, uses every means in his power for the promotion of the order and the health of the camp on Belle Isle
In this he has the co-operation of the accomplished surgeon, Dr. Wilkins
, formerly of Maryland
. Lieut. Bossieux
, is the officer stationed on the Island
, and there could not be a more energetic or sagacious man intrusted with the delicate and responsible duty of preserving order and enforcing sanitary measures for the regulation of so large a number of men, now upwards of five thousand.