Andersonville: The Last Depot by William Marvel

By William Marvel

Among February 1864 and April 1865, 41,000 Union prisoners of conflict have been taken to the stockade at Anderson Station, Georgia, the place approximately 13,000 - one-third of them - died. such a lot modern money owed put the blame for the tragedy squarely at the shoulders of the Confederates who administered the criminal or on a conspiracy of higher-ranking officers. during this conscientiously researched and compelling revisionist account, William wonder offers a entire heritage of Andersonville criminal and stipulations inside of it. in accordance with trustworthy basic resources - together with diaries, Union and accomplice executive records, and letters - instead of exaggerated postwar reminiscences and such recognized yet spurious "diaries" as that of John Ransom, Marvel's research exonerates camp commandant Henry Wirz and others from fees that they intentionally exterminated prisoners, against the law for which Wirz was once carried out after the warfare. in response to wonder, virulent sickness and serious shortages of greens, scientific offers, and different must haves mixed to create a hindrance past Wirz's keep an eye on. He additionally argues that the tragedy used to be irritated by means of the Union selection to droop prisoner exchanges, which intended that many males who may need back domestic have been as an alternative left to sicken and die in captivity.

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Mr. Selman, meanwhile, remained free, returning to his captive market in the stockade. 42 The flap between Persons and O’Neal left the Alabama troops more surly than ever: O’Neal’s officers met in secret session to file a petition with the inspector general of the Confederate army, but nothing came of it. O’Neal remained at the camp in something like informal post arrest. That freed Persons momentarily from the conflict over rank, but henceforth he had to wonder whether the greater half of the garrison would support him in an emergency.

Regiments of North and South Carolinians took turns escorting the tenderfoot cavalcade to the railroad at Rocky Mount, five days away, where cattle cars scooped them up for the four-day journey to Andersonville. Commissaries along the way had not anticipated so tidy a catch, and the first group of prisoners went three days without food; their guards dared not even allow them off the cars to sleep at night, so sullen were the eyes that peered from the darkness. 56 The first lot emerged from the sweltering cars at two-thirty on the last day of April.

Captain Armstrong’s office saw frequent crises, for neither the government nor his agents in the field could always answer all his wants, even in a summer of bumper crops, and much of the time he had to substitute one staple for another. Though he found he could easily handle the first ten thousand prisoners, he began to feel the pinch as thousands more squeezed into the stockade. The overtaxed railroad system could not keep up with stores sent from the north or west, and he was often forced to appeal to the local agent, Harrold, for an emergency allocation.

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