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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 1. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), The treatment of prisoners during the war between the States. (search)
d the Union prisoners at Libby Prison and on Belle Isle? Answer. I never knew that any cruelty was use, but urged to keep themselves clean. At Belle Isle, for a brief season (about three weeks), in entioning Lieutenant.Bossieux, commanding on Belle Isle. His letter was addressed to the President e Libby and other prisons in Richmond and on Belle Isle. This we have done, because the publicationehoods published as to prisoners freezing on Belle Isle. The statements of the Sanitary Commission, as to prisoners freezing to death on Belle Isle, are absurdly false. According to that statementof as to the healthiness of the prisoners on Belle Isle, and the small amount of mortality, is remarfrom the establishment of the prison camp on Belle Isle in June, 1862, to the 10th of February, 1865at the average number of deaths per month on Belle Isle was from two to five, more frequently the leer silence all clamor about Libby Prison and Belle Isle and Andersonville. At Fort Delaware the mis[1 more...]
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 1. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Report of Colonel D. T. Chandler, (search)
it without scruple or mercy. The responsibility of the lives lost at Andersonville rests, since July, 1864, on General Meredith, Commissary-General of Prisoners, and (chiefly) on Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. No one of sound head or heart would now hold the Northern people responsible for these things. The blood is on the skirts of their then rulers; and neither Mr. Garfield nor Mr. Blaine can change the record. I never heard that there was any particular suffering at Libby or Belle Isle, and do not believe there was. Crowded prisons are not comfortable places, as our poor fellows found at Fort Delaware, Johnson's Island, &c. I have at this late day no means of refreshing my memory in regard to the general orders on the subject of prison treatment, but this as a general fact I do know, that Mr. Davis' humanity was considered to be a stronger sentiment with him than public justice, and it was a common remark that no soldier capitally convicted was ever executed, if the P
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 1. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), The treatment of prisoners during the war between the States. (search)
We clip the following from a Northern paper published not long after the close of the war: General Butler said at Hamilton, Ohio, the other day, that while he never answered anonymous newspaper attacks, he felt it his duty here at Hamilton to refute a slander which had been circulated from this platform a few days ago by a gentleman of standing in advocating the election of the Democratic candidate. He has chosen to say that I am responsible for the starvation of our prisoners at Belle Isle and Andersonville, by refusing to exchange soldiers because the Rebels did not recognize the negroes in our service as regular soldiers. I don't propose to criticise anybody, or to say who was right or who was wrong, but I propose to state the exact facts, because it has been widely charged against me, that in order to rescue the negro soldiers I preferred that 30,000 of our men should starve rather than agree that the negro should not be exchanged. Whatever I might have thought it b
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, The Passing of the Armies: The Last Campaign of the Armies., Chapter 6: Appomattox. (search)
they were by our side as suffering brothers. In truth, Longstreet had come over to our camp that evening with an unwonted moisture on his martial cheek and compressed words on his lips: Gentlemen, I must speak plainly; we are starving over there. For God's sake! can you send us something? We were men; and we acted like men, knowing we should suffer for it ourselves. We were too short-rationed also, and had been for days, and must be for days to come. But we forgot Andersonville and Belle Isle that night, and sent over to that starving camp share and share alike for all there; nor thinking the merits of the case diminished by the circumstance that part of these provisions was what Sheridan had captured from their trains the night before. Generals Gibbon, Griffin, and Merritt were appointed commissioners to arrange the details of the surrender, and orders were issued in both armies that all officers and men should remain within the limits of their encampment. Late that ni
vanishing point of the water view — are seen the green tops of Chimborazo Heights and Howard's Grove-hospital sites, whose names have been graven upon the hearts of all southern people by the mordant of sorrow! Just across the river, to the South, the white and scattered village of Manchester is prettily relieved against the green slopes on which it sits. There the bridge cuts the shining chafe of the river like a black wire; and just under it, the wind sighs softly in the treetops of Belle Isle, afterward to become so famous in the newspaper annals of the North, as a prison for the Union soldiers captured in the long struggle for the city. Far to the west, higher shafts of Hollywood Cemetery gleam among the trees; and the rapids, dancing down in the sunlight, break away into a broader sheet of foam around its point. Except, perhaps, Bonnie venture (Buona Ventura), at Savannah, there is no site for a cemetery in the South, naturally so picturesque and at the same time solemn,
J. B. Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary, XXXII. November, 1863 (search)
the President for his carefulness in making a tour of the armies and ports south of us; but as he retained Gen. Bragg in command, how soon the tune would change if Bragg should meet with disaster! Night before last some of the prisoners on Belle Isle (we have some 13,000 altogether in and near the city) were overheard by the guard to say they must escape immediately, or else it would be too late, as cannon were to be planted around them. Our authorities took the alarm, and increasing the gevening, and continued in the night. This, I suppose, will put an end to operations in Virginia, and we shall have another respite, and hold Richmond at least another winter. But such weather must cause severe suffering among the prisoners on Belle Isle, where there are not tents enough for so large a body of men. Their government may, however, now consent to an exchange. Day before yesterday some 40,000 rations were sent them by the United States flagboat-which will suffice for three days, b
J. B. Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary, chapter 35 (search)
must have at least all his regiments. He gets his orders from Gen. Cooper, A. and I. G., who will probably give him what he wants. January 26 Gen. Lee recommends the formation of several more brigades of cavalry, mostly from regiments and companies in South Carolina, and to this he anticipates objections on the part of the generals and governors along the Southern seaboard; but he deems it necessary, as the enemy facing him has a vastly superior cavalry force. The prisoners on Belle Isle (8000) have had no meat for eleven days. The Secretary says the Commissary-General informs him that they fare as well as our armies, and so he refused the commissary (Capt. Warner) of the prisoners a permit to buy and bring to the city cattle he might be able to find. An outbreak of the prisoners is apprehended: and if they were to rise, it is feared some of the inhabitants of the city would join them, for they, too, have no meat-many of them-or bread either. They believe the famine is o
s of his movements in Alabama. He was coming toward us, and we began to feel confident that instead of being exchanged we would be released. This filled us with hope and put us in fine spirits. The whole camp seemed cheerful, and confident that we would soon get out, in some way. After my chums left me I went into partnership with Bob Mc-, a man who belonged to the same company that I did. He was captured at Chicamauga, in September, 1863; was taken to Richmond, spent the winter on Belle Isle; was taken from there to Danville, Va., and thence to Andersonville. He stood seventeen months of prison life — they couldn't kill him! He was a short, thick-set man, thirty-eight or forty years of age. He was quite bald-headed; and had had the scurvy for almost a year. During the crowded term of 1864, he was taken to the tent hospital, outside the stockade. He was almost dead then, but he ate sumac-berries freely, and got better; so much better, that he and a comrade started one night
General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 8 (search)
t to the staff. It announced that Sherman had just captured Rome. The ladies had caught the purport of the communication, although it was not intended that they should hear it. The wife burst into tears, and the mother-in-law was much affected by the news, which was of course sad tidings to both of them. The mother then began to talk with great rapidity and with no little asperity, saying: I came from Richmond not long ago, where I lived in a house on the James River which overlooks Belle Isle; and I had the satisfaction of looking down every day on the Yankee prisoners. I saw thousands and thousands of them, and before this campaign is over I want to see the whole of the Yankee army in Southern prisons. Just then Burnside rode into the yard, dismounted, and joined our party on the porch. He was a man of great gallantry and elegance of manner, and was always excessively polite to the gentler sex. He raised his hat, made a profound bow to the ladies, and, as he looked at his
Varina Davis, Jefferson Davis: Ex-President of the Confederate States of America, A Memoir by his Wife, Volume 2, Chapter 47: the Maryland line and the Kilpatrick and Dahlgren raid. (search)
oats on the river. Should a ferry-boat be seized, and can be worked, have it moved down. Keep the force on the south side posted of any important movement of the enemy, and in case of danger some of the scouts must swim the river and bring us information. As we approach the city the party must take great care that they do not get ahead of the other party on the south side, and must conceal themselves and watch our movements. We will try and secure the bridge to the city (one mile below Belle Isle) and release the prisoners at the same time. If we do not succeed, they must then dash down, and we will try and carry the bridge from each side. When necessary, the men must be filed through the woods and along the river bank. The bridges once secured and the prisoners loose and over the river, the bridges will be secured and the city destroyed. The men must keep together and well in hand, and once in the city, it must be destroyed, and yeff Davis and Cabinet killed. Prisoners will go
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