Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/249

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Monument to Captain Henry Wirz.

The Confederate prisoners were told in every pen that the reason they got no better rations was that they were retaliating for the South's treatment of their prisoners. Now, Corporal, where does the inhumanity come in? Tell us why that in a healthy climate, where there was an abundance of fuel, provisions and medicines and all the humanity in America and a rich government, that 3 per cent, more Confederates died in your prisonsĀ ?

Corporal, will you also kindly tell me how you "well fed and sheltered" the 600 Confederate officers that your government placed on Morris Island, S. C, under fire of the Confederate batteries. Why did you do this? And why did you feed these men on rotten cornmeal and pickles, the cornmeal being alive with worms, and you allowed them no means of cooking the meal?

When Camp Chase was first established as a military prison the Confederates were taken to the old Fair Grounds and kept the first winter in the stalls that had been erected on the ground for horses. Their other prisons seemed to have been selected with a view to exposing the prisoners to the hardships of the climate. For instance, Johnson's Island. Sandusky and Elmira, N. Y., were about as cold and bleak places as men could be placed in prison.

I think Corporal Tanner and his friends should shut up on this prison business until they can tell us why 3 per cent, more Confederates died in their hands in a healthy and salubrious climate, where there was plenty to eat and plenty to wear, than died in the sickly, unhealthy Southern climate, where men were not used to it; when the Confederate soldier was living on less than half rations, and the women and children at home were faring but little better, and where the only medicines in reach were the herbs that grew in the woods.

So far as a monument to Captain Wirz is concerned, the ladies of the South are going to erect one, and it will be built just as tall as it will be possible for them to get the money to build it, and they will inscribe upon it the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help each one of them God so far as they know the truth, regardless of Corporal Tanner's opinion or any one else's. It is a little peculiar that the people of the