By James M. Gillispie
Quickly after the shut of army operations within the American Civil warfare, one other struggle started over the way it will be remembered through destiny generations. The prisoner-of-war factor has figured prominently in Northern and Southern writing in regards to the clash. Northerners used stories of Andersonville to demonize the Confederacy, whereas Southerners vilified Northern legal rules 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 pushed aside. The "Lost reason" characterization of Union felony guidelines as criminally negligent and inhumane, notwithstanding, has proven extraordinary toughness. 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, via James M. Gillispie, represents the 1st large learn to argue that identical to Union criminal officers as negligent and vicious to accomplice prisoners is critically improper. This learn isn't an try and "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 miles varied, much less unfavourable, photograph of Northern legal existence emerges. whereas lifestyles in Northern prisons was once tricky and in all likelihood lethal, no proof exists of a conspiracy to overlook or mistreat Southern captives. accomplice prisoners' agony and demise have been as a result of a few components, however it would appear that Yankee apathy and malice have been not often between them. in reality, most probably the main major unmarried think about accomplice (and all) prisoner mortality through the Civil struggle was once the halting of the prisoner alternate cartel within the overdue spring of 1863. notwithstanding Northern officers have lengthy been condemned for coldly calculating that doing so aided their struggle attempt, the proof convincingly means that the South's staunch refusal to switch black Union prisoners was once really the main sticking element in negotiations to renew exchanges from mid-1863 to 1865. eventually Gillispie concludes that Northern prisoner-of-war guidelines have been way more humane and average than commonly depicted. His cautious research could be welcomed via historians of the Civil warfare, the South, and of yankee historical past.
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Additional resources for Andersonvilles of the North: The Myths and Realities of Northern Treatment of Civil War Confederate Prisoners
Servants of the Devil and Jeff Davis 25 17. Nina Silber, The Romance of Reunion: Northerners and the South, 1865–1900 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993), 13–18; Avery Craven, Reconstruction: The Ending of the Civil War (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc. , 1969), 67; W. , The Image of War: The Pictorial Reporting of the American Civil War (New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1979), 36; David B. , “God Ordained This War:” Sermons on the Sectional Crisis, 1830–1865 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1991), 2, 56–63, 88–89, 90–92, 94–102; Terrie Dopp Aamodt, Righteous Armies, Holy Cause: Apocalyptic Imagery and the Civil War (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2002), 1–49; Steven E.
This idea that Wirz was an innocent victim of Yankee injustice, one that would eventually end up written in stone, was less about making sure an innocent man’s name was cleared than it was about clearing the Confederacy’s name. 11 One method Southerners employed to refute Northern assertions that the Confederacy treated Union prisoners rather brutally, as evidenced by Andersonville, was simple inversion: claiming that the opposite was true. According to Lost Cause-era writers Southern prisons were relatively healthy places and Northern prisoners were treated very well despite the difficulties imposed by the North’s blockade and destruction caused by the war.
H. Mann, “A Yankee in Andersonville,” The Century (July 1890): 447–58; Asa B. Isham, Prisoners of War and Military Prisons (Cincinnati, OH: Lyman and Cushing, 1890), 82–84, 298; Thomas Sturgis, Prisoners of War, 1861–1865 (New York: Knickerbocker Press, 1912), 305. 8. Robert H. Kellogg, Life and Death in Rebel Prisons (Hartford, CT: L. Stebbins, 1865), 146–47; Roach, 130–32; Josiah C. : Glen Cove Public Library, 1981), 9–10, 22; Samuel J. M. Andrews, Sufferings of Union Soldiers in Southern Prisons (Effingham, IL: Register Print, 1870), 11; George G.