Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 01.djvu/218
Southern Historical Society Papers.
zen's official report). Major Anderson, in his report, says: "This hazardous duty (removal of the torpedoes) was performed without injury to any one; but it appearing to me as an unwarrantable and improper treatment of prisoners of war, I have thought it right to refer to it in this report." General Sherman might with equal right have pushed a body of prisoners in front of an assaulting column to serve as a gabion-roller.
His manner of relating the incidents, which I have quoted in his own words, is calculated to give the impression that the use of the torpedoes is something so abhorrent in regular warfare that he could subject his unarmed prisoners to the hazard of exploding them and deserve credit for the act! A strange obliquity in the general-in-chief of an army which has, at the present moment, a special torpedo corps attached to it as an important defensive resource to fortified places; in one who, moreover, was carefully taught at West Point how to plant the equivalent of torpedoes as known to engineers of that date—i. e., "crow's-feet," "trous-de-loups," "fougasses," "mines," etc.
For my part, from the day of the capitulation of Fort Sumter, in 1861, when, in order to save a brave soldier and his command from all unnecessary humiliation, I allowed Major Anderson the same terms offered him before the attack—i. e., to salute his flag with fifty guns, and to go forth with colors flying and drums beating, taking off company and private property—down to the close of the war, I always favored and practiced liberal treatment of prisoners. At the same time, however, I always urged the policy of rigid and prompt retaliation, at all cost, for every clear infraction of the settled laws of war; for history shows it to be the only effectual method of recalling an enemy from inhuman courses. Washington never hesitated to apply the painful remedy during our Revolutionary war.
- I am yours, most truly,
G. T. Beauregard.
W. H. Winder, Esq., New York, N. Y.
Since the foregoing was written we have seen a letter from Judge Ould, in the Saint Louis Globe-Democrat, which so ably refutes the charge made against him on the faith of a garbled letter of his, and brings out other points so clearly, that we give it entire except the introductory paragraphs:
Richmond, Va., October 5th, 1875.
* * * * * * * * * *
"I will now give the history and contents of the letter which "S." produces as the sole proof of my premeditated complicity in the murder of Federal prisoners. When Richmond was evacuated in April, 1865, this letter was found among the scattered debris of General Winder's office. The first time I ever saw it published in full was in the Washington Chronicle, a well-known Republican