‘"Several ladies,"’ of Charleston
, have addressed a communication to this journal upon the subject of excessive indulgence which is alleged to be extended to prisoners in this city, and contrasting their treatment with the inhuman and barbarous conduct of the Federal
authorities to our own prisoners in their hands.
We make the following extract:
"The sick and wounded should of course have necessary
Christian charity requires this, even to our enemies; but we do say, away with that morbid charity which would induce us to nourish in our bosoms the wounded serpent, which we know will inflict upon us and ours the death-sting at the first opportunity.
Why should there be any difference made between the officers and privates of the captured foe?
Let them be treated as prisoners of war — not according to the usages of war between civilized nations, because our fee is not of that character — they are savage, cruel and treacherous, beyond any people ever read or heard of. A place in the hospital or tobacco factory, side by side with the poorest and most degraded private, is far too good for them.
Should you be disposed to think us harsh, pause for a moment, and think of the present condition and future prospects of our highly bred and gentlemanly crew of the Savannah
; let us never for a moment, when we are so liberally dispensing mercy to the enemy, forget the case of those noble, brave, but truly unfortunate young men. Again, let us remember the treatment received by the crew of the Parkhill.
What insult, indignity and cruelty have they not had to endure?
Should not every man, woman and child of the South
regard it as their duty to avenge these atrocities at every opportunity?
Who knows the present condition or future fate of that bold, chivalrous Marylander
How fares our noble Pegram
, and a host of others, bold, self sacrificing and noble spirits?
Their future is all shrouded in darkness and uncertainty!
Reflect for a moment, if you please, upon these homes rendered hopelessly desolate by the premature end of a Dreux, Bartow
, and many others.
We should look well to it that we keep securely, and under the most rigid discipline, those upon whom we expect to retaliate the base injuries of these men, a part of them new prisoners of the enemy.
We must, further, reflect that nothing has ever been gained by leniency to these depraved miscreants.
What return has South Carolina
received for the courteous treatment lavished with a bounteous hand upon the garrison of Fort Sumter
Nothing but the blackest ingratitude.
They were utterly helpless, entirely in our power; might have been hand-cuffed, chained, and driven through the streets a spectacle for all to behold; might have been retained until the present day as prisoners of war in our city jail, faring as do the basest criminals.
You have heard of the very different course adopted.
What has Virginia
gained by her generous course to old Harney
And, still more recently, to Lieut. Solden
, taken by the brave Floridians?
The cases on our side to conduct this unjust war according to the usages of war between civilized nations, are too numerous to be named.
You are thoroughly posted up in regard to these matters; but seeing, as we do, that our ‘"pearls have been cast before swine,"’ should we not now adopt a different course with our enemies?
Would it not be well, as has been suggested, for each of the Confederate States
to receive and accommodate some of these prisoners of the Hessian army and navy?
I think we might accommodate a goodly number in our jails and forts.
, too, is cheap and abundant; it would be a most fortunate arrangement, could it be effected, to get some into Fort Sumter
We are sure they would be well looked after by the present officer in command — the noble, patriotic, and ever to be remembered hero of that distinguished Fortress, who rendered so great and efficient service in effecting its surrender, and who would not, I think, feel any delicate scruples in meting out to these miserable ingrates their just deserts.
Hoping that very soon the state of affairs with the enemy, as it is reported to exist in Richmond
, may undergo a very decided change,
We are, gentlemen, yours respectfully,
The suggestions of our correspondent accord with what we have often said on the subject.
The treatment of Lincoln
prisoners ought to be regulated entirely by that which the Confederates
in his hands receive.
The recent atrocious act of the Federal Congress, giving to every military commandant of a district which he may choose to declare in a state of insurrection, the power to put any man accused of treason against Lincoln
to death, without judge or jury, renders it more than ever desirable that we should hold in strict confinement all the hostages we possess for his good conduct.
Many considerations concur in sustaining the policy of removing the large number of prisoners now in the city, and distributing them among the jails and fortresses of the Confederate States