By James M. Gillispie
Quickly after the shut of army operations within the American Civil struggle, one other warfare all 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 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 brushed off. The "Lost reason" characterization of Union felony guidelines as criminally negligent and inhumane, in spite of the fact that, has proven amazing 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 way of James M. Gillispie, represents the 1st extensive examine to argue that a twin of Union felony officers as negligent and vicious to accomplice prisoners is significantly fallacious. This examine isn't really an try and "whitewash" Union legal guidelines or make mild of accomplice prisoner mortality. yet as soon as the cautious reader disregards unreliable postwar polemics, and focuses solely at the extra trustworthy wartime documents and files from either Northern and Southern resources, then a miles varied, much less adverse, photo of Northern felony lifestyles emerges. whereas lifestyles in Northern prisons used to be tricky and very likely lethal, no proof exists of a conspiracy to forget or mistreat Southern captives. accomplice prisoners' affliction and dying have been because 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 throughout the Civil conflict used to be the halting of the prisoner trade cartel within the overdue spring of 1863. even though Northern officers have lengthy been condemned for coldly calculating that doing so aided their battle attempt, the proof convincingly means that the South's staunch refusal to switch black Union prisoners used to be truly the most important sticking element in negotiations to renew exchanges from mid-1863 to 1865. eventually Gillispie concludes that Northern prisoner-of-war rules have been way more humane and moderate than ordinarily depicted. His cautious research might be welcomed by means of historians of the Civil conflict, the South, and of yankee background.
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Additional info for Andersonvilles of the North: The Myths and Realities of Northern Treatment of Civil War Confederate Prisoners
Russell Before Post 34, GAR, Tuesday, June 22 (Salem, MA: Observer Steam Book and Job Printers, 1886); Lessel Long, Twelve Months in Andersonville (Huntington, IN: Thad and Mark Butler, 1886), 55; Joseph S. , 1890), 191; Glazier, 120–24; Goss, 86–87. 9. Norton P. Chipman, The Tragedy of Andersonville: Trial of Captain Henry Wirz, the Prison Keeper (Sacramento, CA: by author, 1911), 240–353; The Demon of Andersonville, 61–62, 89–90; Kellogg, 253–56; Andrews, 7, 13. 10. Augustus C. Hamlin, Martyria; or, Andersonville Prison (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1866), 105; Henry Hernbaker and John Lynch, True History.
6 Ex-Confederates made the case in the postwar years that they lacked the might to win the Civil War but that did not mean that they and their cause had been wrong. As Wade Hampton told a gathering of the old Washington Artillery in 1878, “right shall make might my friends. We may not see it here on earth, where truth so often goes down before falsehood . . but in the last great reckoning . . ” Occasionally one even finds that defeat was not a negative verdict from Heaven on the South’s society and its people but actually was proof that He still favored them over the Northerners.
On signboards, in private places, from the pulpit, and on monuments . . ” 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.
Andersonvilles of the North: The Myths and Realities of Northern Treatment of Civil War Confederate Prisoners by James M. Gillispie