Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"A good part of the responsibility for the horrors of Anderson rests with General U.S. Grant"

Failure met the 1863 humanitarian mission of Vice President Alexander H. Stephens, and the overtures of General Lee toward Grant for the exchange of prisoners which would relieve their suffering at Andersonville. President Jefferson Davis himself paroled a delegation of Andersonville prisoners in vain to personally ask Lincoln to intervene.
Bernhard Thuersam,

No Relieving the Andersonville Suffering

“I am certainly no admirer of Jefferson Davis or the late Confederacy, but in justice to him and that the truth may be known, I would state that I was a prisoner of war for twelve months, and was in Andersonville when the delegation of prisoners spoken of by Jefferson Davis left there to plead our cause to with the authorities at Washington; and nobody can tell, unless it be a shipwrecked and famished mariner, who sees a vessel approaching and then passing on without rendering aid, what fond hopes were raised, and how hope sickened into despair waiting for the answer that never came.

In my opinion, and that of a good many others, a good part of the responsibility for the horrors of Anderson rests with General U.S. Grant, who refused to make a fair exchange of prisoners.”

Henry M. Brennan, Late Private, Second Pennsylvania Cavalry”

(Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume I, page 318) Never mentioned, of course


Barney was present for the trial and execution in July of the infamous "Andersonville Raiders". These prisoners banned together and terrorized the rest of the camp. Finally in July the raiders faced growing opposition from fellow inmates, were overpowered and restrained. Captain Wirz permitted the prison population to put the Raiders on trial and promised to carry out their verdicts. The six ringleaders were sentenced to hang and the execution was conducted within the prison stockade by the prison population on July 11, 1864.


  1. It is also a known fact that more CSA pow's died under the hands of the Union than Union pow's died under the hands of the CSA.

    Don't get me wrong, Andersonville was a horrible place for any pow, but how were the Union pow camps. Just because they were not as large as Andesonville, were they any better? the answer is damned obvious.

    I have been to Andersonville National Historical site. The POW Museum is also located there. The Andersonville National Cemetery is the only National Cemetery overseen by the US Parks department

    1. Absolutely.

      Elmira, The Death Camp Of The North (My Great Uncle)

      Elmira POW Prison, NY

  2. My grandmother used to say that having lice wasn't anything to be ashamed of, but having lice and keeping lice was shameful. That same analogy can be compared to the boys in blue who languished at Andersonville. The shame here is that Grant and TPTB knew what was going on and had the ability to free the men imprisoned there, but did not. The CSA did the best with what they had at the time . Read John Ransom's "Andersonville Diary". He describes their Southron captors being as starved as he and his fellow inmates. He also describes in great and horrible detail about the "Raiders" and fellow soldiers who stole and murdered their comrade in arms. Lincoln could have sent Sherman to breakout the men at Andersonville who were only three days ride from Atlanta. Instead he sent him across the Georgia countryside to pillage, loot, and burn. The real shame is in the fact that the prison of war camps in the north could have provided better for Southron inmates, but instead intentionally froze and starved many to death. They did his after building a viewing platform whereby they could charge the public twenty-five cents a head to view the men in gray behind the wire. Which is more shameful?

    1. The big deal is that the Lincoln refused to exchange prisoners anymore which would have saved countless lives, but he knew Confederates couldn't be replaced with outsiders like the Yankee army could, so he elected to let them suffer and die.