Andersonvilles of the North: The Myths and Realities of by James M. Gillispie

By James M. Gillispie

Quickly after the shut of army operations within the American Civil warfare, one other warfare all 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 legal regulations 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 principally been brushed off. The "Lost reason" characterization of Union criminal rules as criminally negligent and inhumane, in spite of the fact that, has proven amazing longevity. 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 wide learn to argue that a twin of Union felony officers as negligent and vicious to accomplice prisoners is critically improper. This research isn't an try and "whitewash" Union felony guidelines 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 files and files from either Northern and Southern resources, then a far varied, much less adverse, photograph of Northern legal existence emerges. whereas lifestyles in Northern prisons was once tough and possibly lethal, no facts exists of a conspiracy to overlook or mistreat Southern captives. accomplice prisoners' pain and demise have been because 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 battle used to be the halting of the prisoner alternate cartel within the past due spring of 1863. even though Northern officers have lengthy been condemned for coldly calculating that doing so aided their conflict attempt, the proof convincingly means that the South's staunch refusal to interchange black Union prisoners used to be truly the foremost sticking element in negotiations to renew exchanges from mid-1863 to 1865. finally Gillispie concludes that Northern prisoner-of-war rules have been way more humane and moderate than in general depicted. His cautious research can be welcomed via historians of the Civil battle, the South, and of yankee historical past.

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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. 7 One theme commonly found in Lost Cause “history” is that how each side conducted itself in battle and prosecuted the war proved who was right and who was wrong. A contributor to Confederate Veteran in 1921 made a point that by that time was very familiar to Southerners. ” Having been Crusading Christian Confederates, to borrow Charles Wilson’s apt characterization, was far more laudable than having been a victor who, while having won, did so by dishonorable and immoral methods.

Furthermore, they conflict with those provided by the Official Records published at the end of the century, which indicate that a greater percentage of Union prisoners died in captivity, not the other way around. For Southerners to have tried to get away with presenting an argument that made Confederate prisons sound like relatively pleasant places would have been going too far and they realized that. After all, the mortality figures and photographs of emaciated Andersonville victims were powerful counterarguments.

19. Sabre, 17; Abbott, 316; Kellogg, 63–65, 363, 384; Roach, 3–4, 62; Hamlin, 10–11, 30, 43–44; Spencer, 32–35, 108; Harper’s Pictorial History of the Great Rebellion, 792–95; Goss, 13–15, 100, 257; Andrews, 7–11, 16–17; Long 44, 55, 195, 198–99; Boggs, 5–6, 26, 48–49; Keen, 3–4, 34; Isham, 486; Pennsylvania at Andersonville, 91–93; Chipman, 299–300; Sturgis, 275–78; Deborah B. D. Dissertation, Miami (OH) University, 1998, 3. 20. A Pilgrimage to the Shrines of Patriotism: Being the Report of the Commission to Dedicate the Monument Erected by the State of New York, in Andersonville, Georgia (Albany, N.

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