Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 34.djvu/79

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Prisoners of War North and South. 71

boarders, who had to be constantly fed and guarded and who did nothing to contribute to their own support. They were an incubus upon a government already too weak to carry its own burden, having a population of slaves who did not go into the armies to help fight the battles for constitutional principles of government wherein they were interested as to the whole number of slaves and counted for three-fifths of their number for representation.

Our women and children had to be supported while our men were engaged in the war. Then to take on an increase of hearty, hungry men of more than a quarter of a million was a great tax and undertaking for a people of limited means and resources.

Such was the condition of the Southern Confederacy when taking so many prisoners.

With the United States government matters were different, a government which the South helped organize and establish, a governmet of means, a government of prestige and power, and with unlimited credit and immense resources. The United States could afford to maintain as many prisoners as it could capture of the Confederate armies.

They could draw from the whole world for both men and money to meet their demands in emergency.

They could and did hire foreigners as soldiers for bounty, while native Southerners went to war without hire.

The total number of Federal prisoners captured by the Confeder- ates was 270,000 by the report of Surgeon General Barnes, as quoted by Congressman Hill in his famous reply to Elaine, as shown by the official records in the War Department at Washington.

The whole number of Confederare prisoners captured by the Federals was 220,000. At once it is seen that the Federals were 50,000 more than the Confederates.

The number of Federals who died in Confederate prisons was 32,576, and the number of Confederates who died in Federal prisons was 26.436. So it appears, by official records, that more than 12 per cent, of the Confederate prisoners in Federal prisons died, and less than 9 per cent, of the Federal prisoners in Confederate prisons died, notwithstanding the difference and disparity in means and resources between the North and South, considering the superior advantages of the North over the South for the proper care of prisoners.