Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 18.djvu/333

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Prison Pens North. 333

of mine. Four years ago I accepted the position of superintendent of the Seaboard Manufacturing Company, of Mobile, and refer to the president of that company, H. D. Haven, and Messrs. Lombard & Ayers, of No. 12 Broadway, New York, doubt, will give me a fair record for veracity and integrity. I am a member of the Raphael Semmes Camp of Confederate Veterans, and of the Lee Association of Mobile, Alabama. I can also refer to the. Hon. R. H. Clarke and the Hon. Stephen R. Mallory, members of Congress.

[From The Dispatch, June ai, 1891.]


Dr. Wyeth's Charges Sustained by the Most Conclusive Evidence. Horrors of Point Lookout and Elmira as Witnessed * and Experienced by Hon. A. M. Keiley.

I observe that various northern papers, in discussing Dr. Wyeth's recent Century article on the treatment of Confederate prisoners at Camp Morton, deny the truth of his statement on the ground of its appearance at so late a date since the war. I have now before me a little book (In Vinculis) written by Hon. A. M. Keiley and published in Richmond before the close of the war, and when he was but just released from the northern prison-pens of Point Lookout and Elmira. Perhaps some extracts from its pages may serve to render Dr. Wyeth's statements less startling and incredible to those who have hitherto heard only of the " horrors" of southern war prisons.

Mr. Keiley was captured near Petersburg shortly before the affair of the Crater, and with other prisoners hurried off to Point Lookout, situated at the mouth of the Potomac. This famous prison-pen con- sisted of forty acres of glaring white flat sand, destitute of a single tree or shrub, where, " through the scorching summer and freezing winter (both particularly severe at this point), the poor fellows were confined in open tents on the naked ground, without a plank or a handful of straw between them and the hot or frozen earth." " In winter when a high tide would flood the whole surface of the ground, freezing as it flooded, the suffering of the half-clad wretches, accus- tomed to a southern climate, may be imagined. Many died outright,