Newspaper Page Text
Photographs of Prisoners of War, Showing thair
Condition whan thoy voachad the Union Linos.
Tho following lottpr will explain the photographs
prosontecl on tho first page of this issue of tftp
National UhuiixiNB: $
West's Buimmxob Hospital,-
JBaUivnore, HA?., Hfy , ilftf
Dbati But : I have tho honor to enclose the pholygaph
of John Breinig, with tho desired information written
upon it. I am very sorry your committee could not lmvo
scon those cages when first received. No one, from theso
picturos, can form a true estimate of their condition then.
Not one in ten was able to stand alono ; some of them so
covered and eaten by vermin that thfly nearly rosomblod
cases of small-pox, and so emaciated that they were raw
ly living skeletons, aim hardly IMi, as the result
forty out of one hundred and four having died up
"U" fltnwk line lwwn fiiivf.liirwr an linrHhlo. sn firmdish
io wiininenin Rtnrvn.Hnn. in fhis histnrv of tho sntointa re- want of suppliosto tlio fonrful oxtodient of starving Union
botlion, I have failed to note it. Better the Massacres at prisoners of war, the course of ojr Government upon tho
THE NATIONAL TRIBUNE.
. - . - fM, tr T. - -
fruits of a system of human slavery which trained its dov- during oaptivity, efforts wero naturally made by our men
otaos to acts or cruolty at whih tho civilized world uow ' to conceal t.hoir valuables, before or after ca)turo. The
sUvnds aghast. It is domanded'as a wnming against tho j detection in those attompts was constantly followed by
unholy ambition which pausosnt tho perpetration of no punishment of a cruel, and sometimes of a revolting char
orimo that BOrvea to give it jowor and success; which i aotor. Somo of tho most aggravated cases of boating aud
breaks down the roason of mai and shrouds in darkness i othor personal violence wore inflicted solely on account of
tho humanity of our nature, wlilo it turns its bloody and this detection. Tho officers at Richmond, as shown by
unsparing hand to the dcRtrmJion of country and man-, the testimony, became, by practice, specially export in
kind. This rorord should livoSn tho archives of the na-1 searching and robbing prisoners, and doteeting concoal-
tion as a Warning to future gororaticms, teaching them to mont. During the year 1804 a system of ro-soarcliing was
avoid tlio lorn 010 consequence wiuon nave arisen iroin in vogue in an uie prisons, so unit our
tho cherished institutions of slivery, culminating
crime of rebellion and an abromtion ot tlio
officers and men
ifcod warfare. Such a losson mtst, in the vor
things, tench postority to avoid i repetition of
and placo it constantly on its guard to prevent a recur
rence of tho rebellion.
i nuiu la jwr uuuiiuui iuiwui "", w"o . w.g,ti.uv4
. . i i .
in tho i wero compelled to run tho gauntlet, aud submit to ino m-
ruies ot civil- i dignity oi a new scarcn at oacn transier irom prison 10
y naturo of prison. Theso outrages, so clearly m direct violation of
those causes the laws of war, and in turpitude and crime so nearly
akin to tho robbery of the dead, necessarily increased the
helpless condition of our soldiers, depriving them of the
means of procuring the necessaries and comforts which
. , 1 -S 1. 1L ... .i..v..,1 ...vMkk 4.4 "1 .M1k.. i-Ks I'nriiiKh rtl.sxt.1.1 ...:..1.J. ntrtitnfinn linifn lirkn r -t n tt- o ll n m rl ln1 rlfllM 11 T t hnttl
to this pass into the official history of the nation. The rebels and . a moro easy and facile prey to the disease and death which
their sympathizers have infused into the public mind tho ; spread thoir sable pall ovor tho prison houses of tho South.
nC don that, whilo thev wore driven, bv destitution and tuo iNor was tno lmmcdiaie cruelty muicien urns unny upon
Lawrence. Fort Pillow, and Plymouth than to be thus
starved to death by inches, through long and weary months.
I wish I had possessed the power to compel all tho north
urn svmnathizers with this rebellion to come in and look
nnon the work of tho chivalrous sons of the
sunny south when theso skeletons wore first
A rebel colonel, a prisoner hero, who stood
looking on as they were received, finally shook his head
and walked away, apparently ashamed that ho had held
any relations to men who could bo guilty of such deeds.
Very respectfully, your obediont sorvant,
Hqn. B. P. Wade,
Chairman of Committee on the Conduct of the
Smote U. S.
the Union soldier confined to robbery and personal vio
lence Instant and long marches, short rations, scarcity
question of oxc ango was a willftl neglect of tho prison- j of water, and transportation fit only for beasts dostinod
ers in their hands and a wanton disregard of the strongest for tho shambles, wore tho common incidents of his early
diotatosof duty and humanity toward the unfortunate vie-1 captivity. The facts disclose a cool and malicious disre-
tims of rebel barbarity. i gard ot the condition aim comiort ot tne prisoners uikbu
hospital and Your committee are enabled, from tho testimony oi the ' m battle, and an evident intention on tne pare oi tno uou-
recoived hero, witnesses oxauiinod, the cotemporanoous history ol the federate authorities to lose no tnno in tno attompc to uiuuk
with ?nd fnnn time, the official documents in tfo War Department, and them down in body and in spirit, and render them unfit
ucu WOUUUUU III U1U
f.lift nantiivncl rnnftrds nf tho Into lehnl confedoracv. to nro- for future service to their country.
sent a full, complete, and convincing refutation of these arm or body wore forced to make long marches, guarded
excuses and charges. This asseition is made in the light by cavalry, and when unable longer to keep pace with the
of the recorded ovidenco to bo found in the subsequent column, were boatou and cut with the sabies of their guard
pages ; and your committee may well congratulate tho in order to force them forward untii they fell by the road-
House and the country that justice, though tardy, is sure, side dead, wnere tney wore ieit uuouricu. 1 nbuuias
Extracts from the Kenort on the Treatment of
Prisoners of War by the Rebel Authorities.
lirrtr, and that the loyal administration of Abraham Lincoln, transported on railroads through the bouth wero almost
and the army and navy of the United States, are wholly invariably packed into close box cars, tho sick and well,
, and entirely exculpated from any responsibility for theso the wounded and unwouuded, from sixty to eighty hucl-
rrvnni cmffhvinrre ittul f.riiiips. wliili Mm ftvidonco iiointswith dlfld lorrfit.hor in each car. TllCSO cai'8 WOl'C often used for
. ,1 i , . i -ii x.t. ...-i -15 j ' ii.. -" ii i ..ir.:..v. :..,..,,:;i,r ,irin sHli
iinerrmGr linger to uie mguest as wen as cue suuuruiuuiu tnis purpose wiiuuut uwiiuaui, iiiiiuuvintbuijr n..i. ww..
officers of the confederacy as the great criminals, guilty of had been taken out of them, and the excrement ol tho
atrocities for which Wirz suiiercd on tho gibbet, and ior beast was the oea ot tne men.
Insufficient guards were
., vi :i. . .. . ..:.,,:. o, ,.c ..f!nn oJ tmh
Tho following are extracts from the Report of the ; SETta",. ir .d rSrSSSTft io
Committee of the House of Representatives of the i voices of history
Third Session of the Foitieth Congress, appointed
to investigate the treatment of prisoners of war by
xhe rebel authorities, and also extracts irom the
Testimony taken by the said Committee :
TREATMENT OP PIUSONERS AT TEM.IS OF CAPTURE.
In striking" contrast with the uniform kindness of Union
1 soldiers toward their captives takeii in battle, was the treat- , the ingenuity
provided on such occasions, aud tlio cars consequently
kept closely shut, sometimes for several days in succes
! siou, the men not being allowed to leave them for any pur
pose. Such was the bitter and terrible preparation of the
! devoted soldier of the Union for his entrance into the char
nel houses of Richmond and Andersonville.
Tho testimony shows the mode of search adopted, and
e ingenuity with which concealments were made. The
OBJECT AND rUItPOSJEC OP THIS INVESTIGATION.
mont exneriencod by our officer? and men immediately
upon falling into the hands of the enemy. The harsh and
brutal conduct of the rebels toward their unfortunate pris-
, oners furnishes a constant and leading theme for the de
Impressed with the magnitude and importance of this nunciation of tho survivors. It commenced, usually, hy
work, the committee have endeavored to so perform it as ' nnmanlv mam and taunts iinworthr the character of a sol-
. . -- w m a rti! "i l " ."11 ! - .i-T. -.. . . . m. X.I. -. a.. a"l -t i lin n
to give to the House and the country a laitnriu anu true dior, and undeserved by the heroic men wno naci oeen com- nair, wnisiters, moiiui, eurs, nusu, vi- uuicr iui ui uiu pus-
led to yield to the fortunes ot war. mis was lonoweu oner s person. . doieccion was usuuuy iouowcu uy &ovuio
. - - T i ( V 1 r i - . -. - ...& - t . j . "1 . . ( . 1 1. CI l.- i. 11. 12... M .T ...hKah ,n J ri r-.
the national soldiers and loyal citizens at tne hands 01 tne . by a risrid and lmmiliatine: search ot ciotnmg ana person, pumsnment. oomeumes, n, uiu umu ui uauhuic, n uu
prisoners wore stripped entirely naicea ana meir ciocncs
examined, sometimes by cutting and ripping such portions
as wero supposed to contain secreted money and other val
uables. This was followed by an exploration of the per
son, every part of which was closely examined for articles
of value. These were sometimes found secreted in the
official history of the wrongs and sufferings endured by ; polled
IliVl SUKllUItt IUIU lKJf ill VUljliUIlO till lUtU U.11H.IS J1 tllW ' l)y a rigid au,a llUlIllliaUUg btiiliUU VJt WUtUUlU H"U 1"" pumoumvui. uuinv,ramw, u "" """ v v.xw....few, ..
te authorities. During and since the war inves- ' sometimes taking place on the field of battle, sometimes mand was made by the prisoners for the return of tli
have been ordered with reference to individual postponed until the arrival of the captive at the first prison money, but this was generally met with denunciation, a
" -. . l , w
cases ot cmelty ana responsibility, out tne committee un
derstood that the House, in ordering this investigation, in
tended that the whole subject should he carefully can
vassed and a complete history collected while the facts
were fresh in the memory of living men. And here it
may bo proper to pause to consider and answer the in
quiry which has sometimes been raised as to tho necessity
and utility of this investigation. Why should it have been
and what reasons are there tor prosecutmg these
oftentimes with violence. This deliberate and systematic
robbery of defenseless-men "was pursued, at Richmond,
within sight and hearing of the higher rebel ofBcial&,vuid
not far from the residence of Jeff. Davis. Sounds of rev
elry and carousal at that seat of treason could be heard by
these -wronged, robbed, and outraged prisoners, as they
''. -.- ..-' ii
these military robbers. lay on the bare lloors ot the buildings wnere tney weie con-
r fined, doprived uy then luuuman captors 01 iuu u.uwu uC-
X...y, -.J, ,1 .
station. This search was renewed as otten as tne caprice
1 or cupidity of tho offioer mighfiictate. Such searches I
I were but tho admonition of robbery. Surplus clothing,
oftentimes necessary clothing, watches, money, everything
of value, was seized and appropriated by the captors, and
even the keepsakes of the soldiers were unrespected by
Pictures of wife and children, father or mother, brother
or sister, of no value to the stranger, but inexpressibly
cessaries of life.
inquiries? What is to be gained by spreading before this dear to him who was to linger for months in hopeless con- Tho transportation of prisoners in the crowded and sut-
eountry aud the world a picture so terrible and an expe- fhiement, were wantonly torn irom tneir possession ana located condition wuieii wo xiavu uushh-iuuu, .i
rience so sickening and loathsome in its details, mingled ! made the subject of ribald jest and ridicule. suit of any necessity. It was caused by no forced retreat
with so much crime and atrocity on the part of the respon-' from a battle-field or any emergency of a similar character
sible authors ? Well-organized governments regulate and settle the re- but was the usual mode of transit of prisoners to and from
In the opinion of your committee, a neglect to place in , lations and difficulties between the citizens of their respect- ( stockades in the heart of the confederacy. So horrible was
official form aud under official sanction a record of the ive jurisdictions by public authority and will not use pub- the sufferings endured in theso journeys that every possi
Southern captivity of Union soldiers and citizens during lie power to wrong or rob individuals. All public property ble effort was made by the prisoners to escape from the
the late war could not fail to occasion misconstruction and or contraband of war, found in possession of prisoners, cars while in motion, and many cases are noticed where,
misapprehension in all time to come. The transient and should be seized bv the captors on behalf of their govern- iu the night, they succeeded in forcing open the door, or
somewhat fugitive histories, based on the personal expe-, mont, but that which belongs to them, such as clothing in cutting holes through the side of the car, aud by that
wnunoe nnri niisM-vnHnna nf t.lif. n n f-.li nrs. whi nil lm.vR an- wi mnnou own if tnknn t.n nffivont its imnroner use. mfrm.s afctemntiufr to escaoe, preferring: to risk their lives
.4 1V41VWU lr4Vft VJ M-JW iw-. V- v.w -... .--.j 1 - - w . . .w m-.- fLAV. iiiVV.1 v- ww " .,- t ......-..- - j-j- j, , M J1-'
should be returned again in good faith.
The United States Army Regulations of 1861, pages 107
and 108, provide as follows :
peared from time to time, though truthful in character
and interesting in narrative, can hardly be trusted to con
vey to future generations in living and permanent form
the horrors of Southern prison life, though to the readers
of the present day, to whom they are accessible, they iur
in this forlorn hoiift Hither than endure the tortures oi
1 travel. For many interesting recitals of these attempts,
their failure or success, the reader is referred to the testi-
timonv of the witnesses. An instance of wanton cruelty
occurred on the occasion oi a squad oL prisoners leaving
arly on a winter's morning, who, altera night
"745. Prisoners of war will bo disarmed and sent to the
X Ui.4Vs WlWOUitV AV VW MiiUU WVI tVkV VtWVWl.J.awV WWf ,. - - , 1 i I t 1 Jl ..
nisli n. Rtnrtfino- teilo nf IiiHiovfcn unknown suflbrimr and rear, and reported as soon as pi actieiiuie to wio uc.iuquui- , Richmond, early on a winter's morniug.
i. ..j ,. t.. :. .11 u , -:.,., i ui.Avn ' fore Thr vftt.nrn of the -nrisoners from the hoadtluartOl'S ..u, ,wi ,.o; TOovn nrmmnllpl fn mnvnli ihroiifh the
these detached though numerous works are destined to , of the army to the War Department, will specity the mini- miu(l0 0f the streets, many of them barefooted, their feet
live in the great future, or insure tor themselves an ex- oer, touk, aiiuwijis. ( bleeding Irom wounas occasioned uy tno rouguuess ui wiw
746 The private property of prisoners will be duly ' ad
nnrinr iiict-.nnnn i rftniir.nr.ion nnn nvisrAnfiP.. i nniv vrrv
bWtlVt'Vli A-AAKJUWA . V . v WJV .K. ..-v. .'w. - vj
number mav hereafter servo to confuse the general reader, respected, and each shall be treated wim tne ieg.ua uue
unnrnhinrr for omo nnmnrP.hensive jiisturv of this Irent to his rank. They are to obey the necessaiy orders given I t
era, and finally bauish most of them from 'the libraries of thorn. They receive for subsistence one ration each with- '
tho people, when the personal suffering or individual he- out regard to ranK, aim tue wuuuuuu U1W w u wvauuu ,
:. ti.:Ai, .,,.. ih.Ai,n... u:,. ,.,4. ,,,, ,.io,.u t.im wimH eftve as the wounded of the army. Uther allow-
Wit.li nn honorable foe tho rules of civilized warfare oh-
tiin. and when nn enemy falls into his power, by capture
or surrender, ho seeks to alleviate his sufferings to tho ex
tent of his ability, lie becomes ior tno time ms muuu ami
mf(.rti. no won as his cantor. IJut such was not mm
iiiifiii -:-. II till n (- i.iii-iii i.iiitii iiiii-ii.rii i 1 I iiiiiiiiii.i i iiv w- " ---w. .- - .. ... v. i it II r-;i ,i 11 . il w j m iij - -v1 u-r - tw- tt-r - m
shall have faded from the memory of friends. Yet, in a ances to them will depend on conventions with the en- usual practice of the officers aud soldiers composing tho
national and historical sense, tho subject of rebel impris- emy.J' j robol army; and here we have iu this particular, asm many
onment. its fearful conseouences to its victims, the causes J&any iu iuwu- w uuuuijr uu?i v v x j 0ulQYSl ft strilcmg contrast ooiween tuo couuuuu ui p
o i r 1 1 A -.'.. 1 .-.A-.r.nn.j-I 1 - l -" ' i a. 1 .1 . ilflll.
, -,.i.;i. jf lwwi u i.irr?i ri..,oiin. n,ri 44 o i.rto vn n- ot ma cinff a list oirne properw tsoi.eu, uiuiBBiioiuy iui , .!,, f,llvOB f, lfttn Wfir. As a writer has saiu: -iue
" .1 i!!nrr?r?.VTvr!!, ifi.-.'ij . I ,i -i l-oCa lroitir nnA rnnvntinn. hnt instances Where anv Was f..i.?...i ..r..:on,.o r -o. Jc o aifrniiion.nh tnst. nf nivili-
otbiu jw1...0 . , - v UUUtlllUlll' Ul IJllOUiiV-ia vi licii tu t u.fe.i..v....- ---
Otunied are extremely rare, ihvon in tne low cases wnere at:on n ,mv people or nation. It is the one amenity that
and influence on the civilization 6f the age, demand an
enduring record, truthful and authentic, and stamped with
the national authority.
Your committee feel assured that a perusal of the
donee and conclusions, which are now submitted
suit of their labors, will fully justify tho ground
returned are oxtrenioiy rare, juvuu m uuo iuv waw wnmu . 0f:rt , ,IT1V nnon e or nation.
T " w . a . . . lyjILULVyia. AAA T f-- - -. -- v
money was restored, confederate scrip, nearly worthless, , rcaressos a thousand violences engendered by belligerent
is the one cruolty that casts an others into
In proportion as wojind a tnuo or oom-
,t nrUmnr-nri m hnmn.n TirnoToss. wo are Dionaruu IU
bt.ited, while it will vindicate the motives which orig- officers of rebel prisons, but their recommendations tpr a ' oxpecfc a sympathy for the weak or defenceless, and it is
inated the investigation. They feel confident that such , change in its practice seem to have been entirely disre- ( onl in barbarous or savage life that wo look for the tor
rtmiiRn.1 will nmifimi f.im inRfinn nwoli n f.im imnnrtminA i ffardcd. It seems tliataftor the second year of the war, 1 1 ftf lin,lrmGCi men. or tho abuse of non-combatants.
of preserving in official form themarratives of our suffer- ' even this formality was almost or entirely abandoned, and j Honco it is difficuit to realize that a distinct and largo por
ovi- was substituted dollar lor donar ior tuo money oi wnien roations 0r it
j .1.1' .,! 1 a n-t unltltnl 1 TIT1 II 1111 Iflllllil TIl'lF Tllli; ( - -m
as a re- te soauor uuu uwu ivuuw. o n """". W1W,V "u,a the background.
i.,. nrjifitifift met tne severe luniiauvui&wu. ui niu ui;uuuuk ,v.,j
. -. ... m .. . - -. : .- -. A-.,i m .nn tior Miiir imitiini Jti itiiTiiir uiiiMimy iuiii nuiir . . . . t. ..i i.i.j iv Aim Mnn iiia nnrn
lug soldiers and lellow-oitizens who were the victims of prisoumi wi utujw" ...,j, M- wfo, tion 0r tho American poopio snoum uu uu.utju.iuiu ni
Southern captivity, and the evidence of tho barbarous in- and valuahles, but were often deprived oi coats, shoes, and guch ononnifcios of prison maltreatment as have become
iluenceB which led to the infliction of these indescribable bats, and in many cases stripped of everything but shirt mattors 0f frt0t in history during four years of civil strife.'
horrors. They feel assured that the reader will be im
pressed with the conviction that these facts should live in
history as the inevitable results of slavery, treason, and
rebellion, and as an example to which the eyes of future
tronerations may revert with shame and detestation. That
V w. ..
aud drawers, until at last the rebel captor came to regard ,
his Union victim as one who, oven as a prisoner 01 war,
had no rights which a rebel was bound to respect. Tbo
testimony will be found replete with instances of tho ac
funi trntih of this assertion, evincinjr a spirit of fiendish
1J .I.. n' nil an rvm w " -lt mil riirilTU III I 1111 MTk J T . X. I . n.-v- Al 1TW1 l11ll nill'lllir I. Ill
lxiafnr ni'nonniar in AU!nl rt,.m to run frt 41in mvr.cn ftlHIO IV BUUlll Ol illl U&l lUUtllll 1W u 4&mvo ut utvi i. i OIlLOniltT. IUO HUUb Wi WUlVll vi.ii..fc, vw
r i.tit ,i r i 'r- ' ...i . ,i i,i:... ?mr n ii wfiK dostitiito of all rasucct for the persons of i 1 Riu was nnnoentratod the cnoatost !
of thfi rnnuhlin wlmsn livo wm snnrinnfl in Hii nniiMn of tllO dead. i tllO records ol ClVlllZOd wai'lai'O C.U1 piCSOllt
libortv. and wlmsft ilvnHnn nlioniri lm ri,oriiinfi in ii, . This search and robboiy of prisoners wjis sometimes ac-, which, supplanting all others in our langus
i,,.r . nn o .. ,.,wi,..v.. M o e 4i, i.: Aomnanied bv the most cruol violence, in tho early part into a svnonvm of the cruolty and atrocity
w - w- v ww v v m , - -. fav w i r . -- T.i"l 1 i?
alric couragetwhich elevates man above the common level of the war the demand for tho surrender oi valuable arti
of his race7 and enables him to undergo tho untold hor- clos was freely complied with, but !
rorb of torture, starvation, and death, in vindication of , testimony of others the failure of the rebel authoiit es to ,
principle and in tho defense of his country. Its proser-1 ike restoration of the property which had been given up,
vation is demanded as a condemnation of the appalling I and learning the importance of having money and clothing
ANDBltSONVILIiE, Oil CA3IP SUMTER, 8USITBR COUNTY,
It seems fitting and proper that in tho special descrip
tion of rebel prisons, upon which this report is about
tern mo year oi
amount ot sufloring
, and tho name
igo, has passed
ol man, should
first demand our attention. Andersonville was a repre
sentative prison. Tho mournful interest which now con
tors hi its history, and which must in the future attond
tho recital of its accumulated horrors, has impelled your
committee to bestow upon its origin and progress, its