The Southern Side; or, Andersonville Prison. Compiled from Official Documents by R. Randolph Stevenson, M. D., formerly Chief Surgeon of the Confederate States Military Prison Hospitals, Andersonville, Ga. Baltimore: Turnbull Brothers. 1876.
We are indebted to the author for a copy of this very valuable contribution to history, which we have read with deep interest, and of which, at some early day, we propose a full review. Meantime, we most cordially commend the book to every Confederate who desires to have a refutation of the slanders against our Government and people with which the minds of the nations have been so long poisoned, and to every intelligent Northern man who is willing to "hear the other side" of this question. Dr. Stevenson was in position to know whereof he affirms. He was fortunate in preserving a large part of the Andersonville papers, and he has most abundantly made good the assertion in his preface: "I propose in the following pages to show, from official Confederate and Federal documents: 1st. That the sufferings at Andersonville were the results of a malignant pestilence, coupled with the uncontrollable events of a fierce and bitter war; 2d. That Captain Wirz expiated his alleged crimes under the form of a trial that can reflect no credit on the Government that tried him and that his life was taken away by suborned testimony; 3d. That his alleged co-conspirators were entirely innocent of the crimes charged; 4th. That the Federal authorities at Washington prevented the exchange of prisoners of war, and that by exchanging the prisoners, three-fourths of all the lives lost in prisons North and South could have been saved."
Dr. Stevenson gives a number of valuable documents never before published, and makes a book that should find a place in every library. The publishers have done their part well, and the book is gotten up in good style.
Prison Echoes of the Great Rebellion. By Colonel R. D. Hundley (late of the Confederate States Army). New York: S. W. Green, Printer.
The author sent us some time ago a copy of this exceedingly entertaining little volume; but our notice was crowded out at the time, and has since been somehow overlooked. Colonel Hundley wields a facile, graceful pen, and has written an exceedingly interesting narrative of his experience and observation as a prisoner of war—much of the narrative being taken from a diary which he kept at the time. The book is divided into three parts—On my way to Johnson's Island, Life on Johnson's Island, and My Escape and Recapture—and the whole is very pleasantly combined into a book of decided interest, and of considerable historic value as throwing light on the question of the "Treatment of Prisoners." Colonel Hundley did not find Northern prisons the palaces which they have been represented to be, and his narrative might have served a good purpose had we had it when preparing our numbers on the prison question.
We can cordially recommend the book as worthy of an important place in our war literature.