Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/246

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

made up—out of less than 9,500 prisoners, the deaths were 386. The records at Andersonville show that between the 1st of February and 1st of August, 1864, out of 36,000 prisoners, 6,000, or one-sixth died.

In other words, the average mortality at Andersonville, during that period, was one thirty-sixth of the whole per month, while at Elmira, N. Y., it was one-twenty-fifth of the whole. At Elmira it was 4 per cent.; at Andersonville, less than 3 per cent.

The record also shows that scurvy appeared in this prison in a very malignant form. "Men became covered with fearful sores, many lost their teeth, and many others became cripples, and will die cripples from that cause." On the 1st of September the report showed out of 9,300 prisoners, examined, 1,870 were tainted with scurvy. As scrobatic remedies were plentiful, there was no excuse for this being so prevalent.

Now these reports were made during the healthy season at the North, and when there was no epidemic in the country and of Andersonville in the hot summer months. The Federal government had all the world to draw from for remedies for these suffering men, but they let them die. The North had blockaded our ports and made medicines contraband of war, and Corporal Tanner himself says that our soldiers when captured were half starved.

When an army goes into battle all surplus baggage, etc., is piled up and left under a guard so that they may be better able to handle themselves. Of course, when taken prisoners in battle they have no overcoats or blankets; they were hurried North with the light dress that they had been wearing in the South, and no man has ever yet heard of the United States government furnishing the Southern prisoners with an overcoat.

At the beginning of the war the Confederates made a practice of paroling prisoners. The Federal government would not recognize these paroles, so we then kept our prisoners confined.

President Davis offered to ship to New York cotton with which to buy overcoats and blankets for our prisoners North, but the United States government refused it. He finally succeeded through England in making a trade by which a few were supplied with blankets.