previous next
[297] there was as little truth as in that of Boston Corbet, and “rebel” witnesses were denounced as unworthy of credit unless they would prove renegades and endeavor to propitiate their masters by turning against their comrades. Even poor Wirz himself was offered his life if he would testify against the high officials of the Confederate Government, but he was too true a man and Christian to attempt to save himself from his unjust sentence by perjuring his soul; and he, therefore, suffered on the gallows.

To appreciate at its proper worth the evidence of the witnesses who have tried to fix upon the Confederate authorities this iniquitous charge of maltreatment of prisoners, it is only necessary to refer to the evidence of the general officers of the Federal Army before the Congressional Committee on the War. Let any candid man read, for instance, the evidence contained in that part of the report which refers to the battle of Gettysburg and the operations of the Army of the Potomac under Meade, where there is such palpable conflict, not as to opinions merely, but as to facts; and when he has determined in his mind which of those general officers tell the truth and which do not, let him say how much credence is to be given to the stories of those men who testified as to the horrors of Andersonville, and other Confederate prisons. When the general officers of the army were so loose in their testimony as to important facts affecting each other, what was to be expected of the subordinates and the privates, when testifying against their enemies?

It is very easy to raise the cry of “rebel” when any statement is put forth on the part of the Confederate authorities; and that is conceded a sufficient answer. The same cry would invalidate the testimony of General Lee or “StonewallJackson. If such atrocities were committed as those alleged, why is it that poor Wirz is the solitary victim offered up in expiation of the thousands of victims who, it is said, died from the effects of the

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Andersonville, Ga. (Georgia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Wirz (2)
Stonewall (1)
Meade (1)
Robert E. Lee (1)
Thomas J. Jackson (1)
Boston Corbet (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: