Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 29.djvu/141

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.

Itc[)nrl o( Ilixtni'n Committee of (Ira ml Ci/> (\ V. 125

to divest it of the savage character which has been impressed on it by our enemies, in spite of all our efforts and protests." (Hoke's Great Invasion, p. 52.)

Of course, we do not pretend to say that there w,ere not individual cases of depredation committed, and even on our own people, by some of our soldiers. Indeed, it was often necessary for our army to subsist on the country through which it marched, which was per- fectly legitimate. And when we remember the sufferings and pri- vations to which our army had to be subjected by reason of our lack of necessary supplies of almost all kinds, it is amazing that so little "foraging" was done by our men. But what we do contend for and state, without the least fear of contradiction, is that the conflict was conducted throughout on the part of the South by the govern- ment at home and the officers in the field upon the highest princi- ples of civilized warfare; that if these were ever departed from, it was done without the sanction and against the orders of the Confed- erate authorities. And that exactly the reverse of this is true as to the Federal authorities, we have established by the most overwhelming mass of testimony, furnished almost entirely from Northern sources.

But we cannot protract this paper; it is already much longer than we intended or desired it should be. We would like to have em- braced in it a full discussion of the treatment of prisoners on both sides; but we must leave this, and the treatment of Mr. Davis whilst a prisoner, for some future report. If anyone desires, in advance of that, to see a full discussion of these subjects, we refer, as to the former, to the very able articles by Rev. J. William Jones, D. D., in Vol. I., Southern Historical Society Papers, beginning with page 113, and running through several numbers of that volume, in which he adduces a mass of testimony, and completely vindicates the South. He shows

(1) (As Mr. Davis states it) "From the reports of the United States War Department, that though we had sixty thousand more Federal prisoners than they had of Confederates, six thousand more of Confederates died in Northern prisons than died of Federals in Southern prisons."

(2) That the laws of the Confederate Congress, the regulations of our Surgeon-General, the orders of our generals in the field, and of those who had the immediate charge of prisoners, all provided that they should be kindly treated, supplied with the same rations that