Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 40.djvu/322
318 SOUTHERN HISTORICAL SOCIETY PAPERS.
Federals was in like round numbers only 220,000. From these two reports it appears that, with 50,000 more prisoners in the Southern stockades or other modes of confinement, the deaths were nearly 4,000 less. According to these figures, the per centum of Federal deaths in Southern prisons was under 9, while the per centum of Confederate deaths in Northern prisons was over 12. These mortuary statistics are of no small weight in determining on which side there was the most neglect, cruelty and inhumanity, proclaiming as they do a loss of more than 3 per cent, of Confederates over Federals in prisons, while the Federals had an unstinted command of everything.
There is in my keeping unchallenged evidence to demon- strate that the refusal to exchange prisoners was not due to the Confederate Government.
The policy of the Confederates was established by law. By an act of the Confederate Congress passed soon after the war was inaugurated, it was provided that prisoners of war should have the same rations in quantity and quality as Confederate sol- diers in the field. By an act afterward passed, all hospitals for sick and wounded prisoners were pu upon the same footing with hospitals for sick and wounded Confederates. This policy was never changed. There was no discrimination in either particular between Federal prisoners and Confederate soldiers. Whatever food or fare the Confederate soldier had, whether good or bad, full or short, the Federal prisoners shared equally with them. Whatever medical attention the sick and wounded Confederate soldiers had, the Federal prisoners in like condition also re- ceived. Where the supply of the usual standard medicines was exhausted and could not be replenished in consequence of the action of the Federal Government in holding them to be contra- band of war and in preventing their introduction by the block- ade and severe penalties, when resort was had to the virtues of the healing herbs of the country as substitutes for more efficient remedial agents, the suffering Federals shared these equally with like suffering Confederates. All Confederate surgeons have more or less valuable data in their keeping. Gather these up at once, comrades, resolve to come to this meeting, and bring them with you. Each separate fact placed with others in a connected