Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/242

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Southern Historical Society Papers.


Mortality in Confederate and Federal Prisoners
Contrasted and Causes Explained.

Earnest effort has been made towards the erection of a monument to Captain Henry Wirz in Richmond, but as yet there has been no definite action.—Ed.

Over a month ago there appeared in the Atlanta (Ga.) Constitution a bitter attack upon the Daughters of the Confederacy, of Georgia, by Corporal James Tanner. We old Johnnies regretted very much to see this coming from Corporal Tanner, as, when he was in Georgia two or three years ago attending the reunion of the Blue and the Gray, he expressed such love for us that we thought he had buried the hatchet so deep that certainly the edge would be molted off, and it would be harmless forever and ever. But it seems from the first sentence we read in his onslaught, that he has resurrected the old glory implement, and put a fiercer edge on it than it ever had before. We cannot understand how Corporal Tanner expects us old fellows in Gray to love and hobnob with him when he attacks our women in this way. We will stand many things that he might say about us, but when he says anything about our women, he gets all of the fuz turned the wrong way.

The first sentence in his attack is so bitter that I did not believe that it could emanate from the corporal. He says:

"When the accursed soul of Captain Wirz floated into the corridors of hell, the devil recognized that his only possible competitor was there."

The writer of this article served in the First Virginia Cavalry during the war; was born and reared in Virginia and remained there until September after the surrender of the Confederate armies. He was never at Andersonville, and can say nothing personally as to the treatment of the Federal prisoners at that point. He, however, is somewhat familiar with the conduct of the Confederate States government towards it prisoners.