“Then sir, we will give them the bayonet”
Rob Baker in his blog at http://historicstruggle.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/andersonville-the-anniversary-the-south-would-like-to-forget/ says that the South would like to forget the anniversary of the opening of Andersonville. He gives no reason why. As usual he presents no facts to support his statement. So Baker why should we be ashamed of Andersonville? Give me one reason.
Like everyone else I would hate to be a POW and I hate the fact that so many men both North and South had to suffer and die under the conditions and treatment they received, but I remind you the South was invaded by the North. Another fact to be noted, Lincoln and his henchmen’s treatment of the Confederate POWs was deliberate under the retaliation policy of the North; the Confederate government had no policy of retaliation.
On another note baker simply refuses to mention the hell holes known as Yankee POW camps. Camps such as Camp Chase, Elmira, and Camp Douglass simply did not take care of their prisoners even though life was barely disrupted in these states. Anderson was in Georgia a state being devastated by Sherman and his army. The likelihood that the Confederate government had the supplies or the facilities to take care of the number POWs that were sent to Anderson is very slim.
Speaking of Sherman, why didn’t he simply free the POWs at Andersonville when he had the chance? It is simple. Let’s see what Sherman has to say in his own words from Sherman’s memoirs—-
Soon after our reaching Atlanta, General Hood had sent in by a flag of truce a proposition, offering a general exchange of prisoners, saying that he was authorized to make such an exchange by the Richmond authorities, out of the vast number of our men then held captive at Andersonville, the same whom General Stoneman had hoped to rescue at the time of his raid. Some of these prisoners had already escaped and got in, had described the pitiable condition of the remainder, and, although I felt a sympathy for their hardships and sufferings as deeply as any man could, yet as nearly all the prisoners who had been captured by us during the campaign had been sent, as fast as taken, to the usual depots North, they were then beyond my control. There were still about two thousand, mostly captured at Jonesboro, who had been sent back by cars, but had not passed Chattanooga. These I ordered back, and offered General Hood to exchange them for Stoneman, Buell, and such of my own army as would make up the equivalent; but I would not exchange for his prisoners generally, because I knew these would have to be sent to their own regiments, away from my army, whereas all we could give him could at once be put to duty in his immediate army.
Let’s see what one POW at Andersonville has to say about the exchanges—
I am certainly no admirer of Jefferson Davis or the late Confederacy, but in justice to him and that the truth may be known, I would state that I was a prisoner of war for twelve months, and was in Andersonville when the delegation of prisoners spoken of by Jefferson Davis left there to plead our cause to with the authorities at Washington; and nobody can tell, unless it be a shipwrecked and famished mariner, who sees a vessel approaching and then passing on without rendering aid, what fond hopes were raised, and how hope sickened into despair waiting for the answer that never came.
In my opinion, and that of a good many others, a good part of the responsibility for the horrors of Anderson rests with General U.S. Grant, who refused to make a fair exchange of prisoners.
Henry M. Brennan, Late Private, Second Pennsylvania Cavalry”
(Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume I, page 318)
From Fox’s Regimantal return of losses (Union)
DEATHS FROM ALL CAUSES.
|Killed, or died of wounds||6,365||103,705||110,070|
|Died of disease||2,712||197,008||199,790|
|In Confederate Prisons||83||24,783||24,866|
|Killed after capture||14||90||104|
|Executed by the enemy||4||60||64|
|Causes known, but unclassified||62||1,972||2,034|
|Cause not stated||28||12,093||12,121|
OThis is the only source I can find for Confederate deaths. Note the Union death rotal closely matches Fox’s return.
Official United States Government POW Death Figures
U.S. Secretary of War Stanton’s official figures of 1866 in the Library of Congress ~ states:
Federals in Confederate Prison Camps ~ Total 270,000 ~ Deaths 22,576 ~ 8.36%
Confederates in Federal Prison Camps ~ Total 220,000 ~ Deaths 26,436 ~ 12.02%
It is typical of Rob baker to post little or no facts on his blog, the reason is simple he has none!!!!!!!!!
So Baker, tell me again what is it I am supposed to forget??/