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artment then did not exceed 8,000 or 9,000--the great majority, about 7,500, being at Andersonville. Before I received Colonel Bondurant's report, General Winder died, when, having no superior in command, I reported directly to the Secretary of War at Richmond. Communication with the War Office was at that period very slow and difficult. Great military operations were in progress. General Sherman was moving through the Carolinas. The Federal cavalry under Kilpatrick with Sherman, and Stoneman co-operating from Tennessee, almost suspended mail facilities between Georgia and Virginia, and the telegraph was almost impracticable, because the line was taxed almost to its capacity in connection with active military operations. After the death of General Winder, I made repeated efforts to establish communication with the Secretary of War, and with Commissioner Ould, and obtain some instructions in regard to the prisons and prisoners under my charge. All these efforts failed, at least
William T. Sherman (search for this): chapter 3.17
thorities after the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston to General Sherman; but for all essential purposes my memory enables me to detailen by the approach of Kilpatrick's cavalry, moving on the flank of Sherman's army. A detachment of this cavalry reached Aiken within four how and difficult. Great military operations were in progress. General Sherman was moving through the Carolinas. The Federal cavalry under Kilpatrick with Sherman, and Stoneman co-operating from Tennessee, almost suspended mail facilities between Georgia and Virginia, and the telee country roads through the desolated belt of country traversed by Sherman's army, in its march through Georgia, for a distance of over sevene only remaining available outlet was at Saint Augustine, Florida, Sherman having destroyed railway communication with Savannah. Finding thaat Macon, and in a short time the surrender of General Johnston to Sherman, embracing all that section of country, the Confederate prisons ce
he only remaining available outlet was at Saint Augustine, Florida, Sherman having destroyed railway communication with Savannah. Finding that the prisoners could be sent from Andersonville by rail to the Chattahoochie, thence down that river to Florida, near Quincy, and from Quincy by rail to Jacksonville, within a day's march of Saint Augustine, it was resolved to open communication with the Federal commander at the latter place. With that view, somewhere about the middle of March, Captain Rutherford, an intelligent and energetic officer, was sent to Saint Augustine. A few days after his departure for Florida, he telegraphed from Jacksonville, Send on the prisoners. He had, as he subsequently reported, arranged with the Federal authorities to receive them. At once all were ordered to be sent forward who were able to bear the journey. Three days cooked rations were prepared, and so beneficial to health was the revival of the spirits of these men by the prospect of once more bein
ng with each other, and acting harmoniously in whatever course might be adopted. General Pillow took a leading part in the discussion, and in shaping the conclusions to which we came. In the absence of official information or instructions from Richmond, we acted upon what the newspapers announced as a recently established arrangement with General Grant, which was, in effect, that either side might deliver to the other on parole, but without exchange, any prisoners they chose, taking simply a r in our hands to eat out our little remaining substance. In view of all these facts and considerations, Generals Cobb and Pillow and I were of one mind that the best thing that could be done was, without further efforts to get instructions from Richmond, to make arrangements to send off all the prisoners we had at Eufaula and Andersonville to the nearest accessible Federal post, and having paroled them not to bear arms till regularly exchanged, to deliver them unconditionally, simply taking a r
d the department through which these prisoners were sent to Jackson, and objected to any more being sent that way, on the ground that they would pick up information on the route detrimental to our military interests. The only remaining available outlet was at Saint Augustine, Florida, Sherman having destroyed railway communication with Savannah. Finding that the prisoners could be sent from Andersonville by rail to the Chattahoochie, thence down that river to Florida, near Quincy, and from Quincy by rail to Jacksonville, within a day's march of Saint Augustine, it was resolved to open communication with the Federal commander at the latter place. With that view, somewhere about the middle of March, Captain Rutherford, an intelligent and energetic officer, was sent to Saint Augustine. A few days after his departure for Florida, he telegraphed from Jacksonville, Send on the prisoners. He had, as he subsequently reported, arranged with the Federal authorities to receive them. At once
Gideon J. Pillow (search for this): chapter 3.17
ds in which, as an item of hews, I saw it stated that Brigadier-General Gideon J. Pillow had been appointed General Winder's successor. GenerGeneral Pillow was then at Macon, but had received no official notification of his appointment, and I having none, could not, and did not, recognizrs, I went to Macon to confer with General Howell Cobb and General Gideon J. Pillow as to the proper course for me to pursue in the event of ossion of the situation, there was perfect accord in our views. General Pillow was expecting to receive official notice of his appointment as , and acting harmoniously in whatever course might be adopted. General Pillow took a leading part in the discussion, and in shaping the concl. In view of all these facts and considerations, Generals Cobb and Pillow and I were of one mind that the best thing that could be done was, e point was Andersonville. Again conferring with Generals Cobb and Pillow, and finding we were powerless to prevent Wilson's reaching Anderso
Robert Ould (search for this): chapter 3.17
cessarily incident to a state of war between contending Christian powers. I now proceed to give you a simple historical narrative of facts within my personal knowledge, that I believe have never been published, although at the request of Judge Robert Ould, of this city, who was the Confederate Commissioner for the Exchange of Prisoners, I wrote them out in 1866, and furnished the Ms. to a reporter of the New York Herald. But the statement never appeared in that journal, for the reason assiglmost impracticable, because the line was taxed almost to its capacity in connection with active military operations. After the death of General Winder, I made repeated efforts to establish communication with the Secretary of War, and with Commissioner Ould, and obtain some instructions in regard to the prisons and prisoners under my charge. All these efforts failed, at least I received no reply by wire, mail or messenger to any of my inquiries. A newspaper fell into my hands in which, as an
George W. McPhail (search for this): chapter 3.17
ecision, because all my official papers fell into the hands of the United States military authorities after the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston to General Sherman; but for all essential purposes my memory enables me to detail events in consecutive order, and approximately to assign each to its proper date. A few days after receiving my orders from General Winder, I reached Aiken, and visited Augusta, Georgia, and established an office there in charge of a staff officer, Lieutenant George W. McPhail, for prompt and convenient communication with the prisons of the department. About my first official act was to dispatch Lieutenant-Colonel Bondurant on a tour of inspection of the prisons in my department, with instructions to report fully on their condition and management. Whilst Colonel Bondurant was on this service, I was forced to quit Aiken by the approach of Kilpatrick's cavalry, moving on the flank of Sherman's army. A detachment of this cavalry reached Aiken within f
Dabney H. Maury (search for this): chapter 3.17
Statement of General J. D. Imboden. It touches on points which we have already discussed, and anticipates some others which we shall afterwards give more in detail. But it is a clear and very interesting narrative of an important eye-witness; and we will not mutilate the paper, but will give it entire in its original form: Richmond, Va., January 12th, 1876. General D. H. Maury, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Southern Historical Society: General — At your request I cheerfully reduce to writing the facts stated by me in our conversation this morning, for preservation in the archives of your society, and as bearing upon a historical question — the treatment of prisoners during our late civil war, which it seems certain politicians of the vindictive type in the North, led by a Presidential aspirant, have deemed it essential to their party success to thrust upon the country again in the beginning of this our centennial year. It is to be hoped that after a laps
Robert E. Lee (search for this): chapter 3.17
, so impaired my physical condition that I was incapable of performing efficiently the arduous duties of my position as a cavalry officer on active service in the mountains of Virginia, and therefore I applied to the Confederate War Office for assignment to some light duty farther south till the milder weather of the ensuing spring would enable me to take my place at the head of the brave and hardy mountaineers of the Valley and western counties of Virginia I had the honor to command. General R. E. Lee kindly urged my application in person, and procured an order directing me to report to Brigadier-General J. H. Winder, then Commissary of Prisoners, whose headquarters were at Columbia, South Carolina. I left my camp in the Shenandoah Valley late in December, 1864, and reached Columbia, I think, on the 6th of January, 1865. General Winder immediately ordered me to the command of all the prisons west of the Savannah river, with leave to establish my temporary headquarters at Aiken, Sou
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