By James M. Gillispie
Quickly after the shut of army operations within the American Civil warfare, one other warfare begun over the way it will be remembered through destiny generations. The prisoner-of-war factor has figured prominently in Northern and Southern writing concerning the clash. Northerners used stories of Andersonville to demonize the Confederacy, whereas Southerners vilified Northern felony guidelines to teach the depths to which Yankees had sunk to achieve victory. through the years the postwar Northern portrayal of Andersonville as fiendishly designed to kill prisoners in mass amounts has mostly been disregarded. The "Lost reason" characterization of Union felony rules as criminally negligent and inhumane, despite the fact that, has proven striking sturdiness. Northern officers were portrayed as turning their army prisons into focus camps the place Southern prisoners have been poorly fed, clothed, and sheltered, leading to inexcusably excessive numbers of deaths. Andersonvilles of the North, by means of James M. Gillispie, represents the 1st large research to argue that identical to Union felony officers as negligent and vicious to accomplice prisoners is critically unsuitable. This examine isn't really an try to "whitewash" Union felony rules or make mild of accomplice prisoner mortality. yet as soon as the cautious reader disregards unreliable postwar polemics, and focuses completely at the extra trustworthy wartime documents and files from either Northern and Southern resources, then a far various, much less damaging, photo of Northern legal lifestyles emerges. whereas existence in Northern prisons was once tough and possibly lethal, no proof exists of a conspiracy to overlook or mistreat Southern captives. accomplice prisoners' affliction and loss of life have been as a result of a few components, however it would appear that Yankee apathy and malice have been infrequently between them. in truth, most probably the main major unmarried think about accomplice (and all) prisoner mortality in the course of the Civil struggle was once the halting of the prisoner alternate cartel within the past due spring of 1863. although Northern officers have lengthy been condemned for coldly calculating that doing so aided their struggle attempt, the facts convincingly means that the South's staunch refusal to replace black Union prisoners was once truly the major sticking element in negotiations to renew exchanges from mid-1863 to 1865. finally Gillispie concludes that Northern prisoner-of-war rules have been way more humane and moderate than in most cases depicted. His cautious research may be welcomed by way of historians of the Civil struggle, the South, and of yank background.
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Additional info for Andersonvilles of the North: The Myths and Realities of Northern Treatment of Civil War Confederate Prisoners
Nobody wants to be associated with a losing side that lacked any redeeming qualities, which was precisely how Northerners were portraying the former Confederacy and its supporters. An additional burden was the understanding and acceptance by both sides that the war had been a conflict where God would grant victory to the righteous side. Throughout the war, Confederates never doubted ultimate victory because they never doubted their moral superiority to the Yankees. ”2 Throughout the war, Davis called for fast days and days of prayer to insure God’s continued support for the Confederacy and its armies in the field.
Gilbert Sabre, Nineteen Months a Prisoner of War (New York: The American News Company, 1865), 58–59; A. O. Abbott, Prison Life in the South (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1865), 51–53, 141–43, 202–3, 314; “At Andersonville,” The Atlantic Monthly (March 1865): 285–97; Ambrose Spencer, A Narrative of Andersonville (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1866), 58–59, 82; Willard W. Glazier, The Captive, the Prison Pen, and the Escape (Hartford, CT: H. E. Goodwin, 1868), 123–24, 186–87, 319–22, 336–39; Warren Lee Goss, The Soldier’s Story of His Captivity at Andersonville, Belle Isle, and Other Rebel Prisons (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1869), 85–86; Samuel S.
12 The problem is that the numbers given here and used quite often by Southern writers after the war was that they were contained in a report by Federal Surgeon-General Joseph K. Barnes that was lost—if it ever existed. Not only is evidence lacking that this report ever existed, the numbers are not supported by any other wartime documents, official or otherwise. Furthermore, they conflict with those provided by the Official Records published at the end of the century, which indicate that a greater percentage of Union prisoners died in captivity, not the other way around.
Andersonvilles of the North: The Myths and Realities of Northern Treatment of Civil War Confederate Prisoners by James M. Gillispie