New PDF release: Andersonvilles of the North: The Myths and Realities of

By James M. Gillispie

ISBN-10: 1574412558

ISBN-13: 9781574412550

Quickly after the shut of army operations within the American Civil conflict, one other struggle started over the way it will be remembered by means of 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 criminal rules to teach the depths to which Yankees had sunk to realize victory. through the years the postwar Northern portrayal of Andersonville as fiendishly designed to kill prisoners in mass amounts has mostly been brushed off. The "Lost reason" characterization of Union criminal guidelines as criminally negligent and inhumane, even if, has proven notable 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 huge learn to argue that a twin of Union felony officers as negligent and harsh to accomplice prisoners is seriously fallacious. This research isn't an try and "whitewash" Union felony regulations or make gentle of accomplice prisoner mortality. yet as soon as the cautious reader disregards unreliable postwar polemics, and focuses completely at the extra trustworthy wartime files and files from either Northern and Southern resources, then a miles diversified, much less damaging, photo of Northern legal existence emerges. whereas lifestyles in Northern prisons was once tricky and very likely lethal, no proof exists of a conspiracy to overlook or mistreat Southern captives. accomplice prisoners' discomfort and dying 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 truth, most probably the main major unmarried consider accomplice (and all) prisoner mortality through the Civil struggle used to be 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 conflict attempt, the facts convincingly means that the South's staunch refusal to switch black Union prisoners was once truly the main sticking aspect in negotiations to renew exchanges from mid-1863 to 1865. finally Gillispie concludes that Northern prisoner-of-war guidelines have been way more humane and average than often depicted. His cautious research could be welcomed through historians of the Civil warfare, the South, and of yankee background.

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Extra info for Andersonvilles of the North: The Myths and Realities of Northern Treatment of Civil War Confederate Prisoners

Sample text

One said he witnessed prisoners at Johnson’s Island suspended in such a manner and that the poor victims “would grow so deathly sick that they would vomit all over themselves, their heads [would] fall forward and almost every sign of life [would] become extinct . . ” Others, unfortunately, could not. A former Fort Delaware resident alleged that officials there hung prisoners by the thumbs until they died. In addition to sadistic thumb suspension, there were other forms of physical abuse in the camps.

Stuart McConnell, Glorious Contentment: The Grand Army of the Republic, 1865–1900 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992), xi–xv, 15–21, 94–97, 123–53, 167, 179; Mary R. R. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1952), 26 ANDERSONVILLES OF THE NORTH 50–79, 86, 278–84, 309–16, 334–38, 439–42, 466–69; Hesseltine, Civil War Prisons: A Study in War Psychology, 247–51. 23. McConnell, 182–87, 190–92, 225–26; Dearing, 117, 408–11; Pennsylvania at Andersonville, 46–48. 24. Gardner, 105–17; McConnell, 15, 123–53; Dearing, 16, 50–79, 116, 131, 149–51, 160, 186, 230, 278–84, 334–38; Hesseltine, Civil War Prisons: A Study in War Psychology, 248–50; Oates, 199–205; Lynch, 13–14.

The idea that the Confederate States of America had been a morally bankrupt society received official and public legitimacy during Andersonville commandant Henry Wirz’s trial and subsequent execution before the year was out. Ex-Confederates did not want to be remembered as traitors or as members of a degraded society who were defeated by a righteous foe. Many, probably most, white Southerners feared that the victors’ history would become the official version of the Civil War—a concern not without precedent.

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Andersonvilles of the North: The Myths and Realities of Northern Treatment of Civil War Confederate Prisoners by James M. Gillispie


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