which (according to Mr. Blaine) they received at the hands of their captors, how could a Government which had not the means of making better provision for its own soldiers provide any better than we did for the thousands of prisoners which were captured by these emaciated skeletons? And what shall we say of General Grant and his splendid army of two hundred thousand hale, hearty, well equipped men, who, in the campaign of 1864, were beaten on every field by forty thousand of these "emaciated and reduced" creatures, until, after losing over a third of their men, they were compelled to skulk behind their fortifications at Petersburg, and absolutely refused "the open field and fair fight," which Lee and his "ragamuffins" offered them at every point from the Wilderness to Petersburg?
But, of course, the whole thing is absurd. Our men were on half rations, and in rags, it is true; but a healthier, hardier set of fellows never marched or fought, and they died in Northern prisons (as we shall hereafter show) because of inexcusably harsh treatment.
These official figures of Mr. Stanton and Surgeon-General Barnes tell the whole story, and nail to the counter the base slander against the Confederate Government.
But a crowning proof that this charge of cruelty to prisoners is false, may be more clearly brought out than it has been above intimated. In the proceedings against Wirz, Mr. Davis and other Confederate leaders were unquestionably on trial. Every effort that partisan hatred or malignant ingenuity could invent was made to connect Mr. Davis with and make him responsible for the "crimes of Andersonville." The captured Confederate archives were searched, perjured witnesses were summoned, and the ablest lawyers of the reigning party put their wits to work; but the prosecution utterly broke down. They were unable to make out a case upon which Holt and Chipman dared to go into a trial even before a military court, which was wont to listen patiently to all of the evidence for the prosecution, and coolly dismiss the witnesses for the defence. Does not this fact speak volumes to disprove the charge, and to show that no cases can be made out against our Government?
But an even stronger point remains. After despairing of convicting Mr. Davis on any testimony which they had or could procure, they tried to bribe poor Wirz to save his own life by swearing