A Yankee Opinion of the treatment of their prisoners by the Confederates.
--The New York Express
has an article about the exchange of prisoners, from which we take the following:
From the start, it has been part of the plan of the Abolition disunionists of the North
to represent the Southern
slave State population as, in a large degree, if not en masse,
uncivilized barbarians, inhuman women whippers, if not fiends incarnate, and it has doubtless done much to intensify the relentless bitterness with which this war is now waged, to have that sweeping characterization of a people (with whom we expect to live on peaceful terms at some future day) persisted in. Hence the Tribune,
in this mischievous spirit, of to-day, says editorially, "it is a savage and barbarous people with whom we are at war," and hence, also, the prominence constantly given to the over-colored, if not essentially false, statements of refugees, deserters, and of released prisoners sometimes, of the unmentionable cruelty practiced by the rebels upon their victims, especially upon the victims they have in prison.
Occasionally these misrepresentations are set right, as, for instance, in the testimony given by some of our exchanged prisoners who arrived at Annapolis
We quote from a letter thence to the Times,
(an Administration organ:)
Lieut. Col. James M. Sanderson
, Chief Commissary of Subsistence
of the 1st army corps, utterly and flatly contradicts the statements respecting the issue of "mule ment" at the Libby, and adds that all such statements by returned prisoners and letter-writers, tend to bring us into ridicule, and interfere materially in the humane efforts sometimes made to mitigate the real evils of the case.
Maj. Thos. P. Turner
, the commandant of the Libby, was a cadet of West Point
for two years preceding the war. He is a very young man, but has the confidence of the Confederate
authorities; a strict soldier and a severe disciplinarian, but not entirely unmindful of those virtues by which an enviable reputation is to be attained.
, however, the Inspector
of the Prison
, (who, by the way, is not a relative of the Major
,) is of an entirely different mould, yet has some streaks of humanity in his composition; which brighten upon acquaintance.
His unexpected kindness to the footsore and weary prisoners he recaptured after their attempt to escape with the famous "one hundred and ten" last month, is very gratefully remembered.
discredits the statement made by some negroes that a thousand pounds of powder have been placed in a pit under the prison to blow it up with all its inmates, in case of another attempt to rescue the prisoners.
The commandant of Belle Isle Lieut. Victor Bossieux
, is said to be a large-hearted man; and were the whole treatment of the prisoners to be confided to him but little cause of complaint would exist.
But holding a very subordinate position, he finds himself constantly trammeled in every effort to improve or ameliorate their condition.
and others of the officers and men are justly indignant at the attempt of certain returned prisoners to make "martyrs" of themselves by the publication of exaggerated statements, which invariably react upon the prisoners still in the hands of the Confederates
, and add to the rigors of the prison discipline.
The inevitable lot of the prisoners is hard enough, in all conscience, without any of these adventitious helps.