Southern Historical Society Papers.
From X. O., La., Picayune, August 16, 1908.
TWO IMPORTANT LETTERS BY JEFFERSON DAVIS DISCOVERED.
They Prove that He Was in No Way Responsible for Conditions at the Andersonville Military Prison.
Prof. W. L. Fleming Shows that the Confederate Chieftain Never Saw the Chandler Report until after the War.
The two letters below, which were written by Jefferson Davis to Colonel R. H. Chilton, of Richmond, make certain the con- tention of the Southern historians of the war that a report made in August, 1864, by Colonel Z. T. Chandler on conditions in Andersonville Prison was not forwarded to Mr. Davis and that he did not know of the report until after the close of the wai. Chandler, who had been sent by the Confederate War Depart- ment to inspect Andersonville, reported that conditions there were bad, chiefly on account of the lack of proper sanitation and the crowding" of too many prisoners into the stockade. He re- commended that numbers of the prisoners be removed to other places.
This report, the records show, reached the Confederate War Department, where it was read by Colonel R. H. Chilton, who forwarded it to Judge J. A. Campbell, Assistant Secretary of War. Campbell was much impressed by the contents of the report, and is said to have declared to Chilton that he intended to see President Davis about the matter. The report then went to the Secretary of War, by whom it should have been forwarded to Davis. It was not forwarded, however, and Campbell did not carry out his intention of seeing Mr. Davis. The prisoners were soon moved, but they would probably have been moved earlier had Davis seen the Chandler report.
In 1865 when Wirz, the Commandant at Andersonville, was tried and hanged, a strong effort was made to prove that Mr. Davis had known of this report and that he had deliberately