Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/25

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Jefferson Davis and Andersonville Prison.

the Globe-Democrat. If Judge Campbell should be moved by such impulse as caused you to overcome your aversion to newspaper notoriety, he could contradict the statement that he said "I will make it the subject of a special interview with the President." His official position and personal relations render it unlikely that he said so; and if he did his declaration was certainly never carried into execution.

As to Colonel Wood, the statement amounts to nothing, as it does not even pretend to relate what Colonel Wood said, or show that he even knew of the existence of Chandler's report, as he probably did not. We all knew of the disease and fatality among the prisoners at Andersonville, and I remember it was attributed to the climate and corn meal diet, and the absence of the proper medicine for such diseases as existed. It was under those circumstances that I sent General Lee to hold an interview with General Grant, and press on him the necessity for resuming the exchange of prisoners according to the cartel. He failed to awake any of that tender regard for the prisoners which is now assumed for the purpose of maligning me. A short time since W. S. Winder, the son of General Winder, wrote to me in urgent terms, asking me to vindicate his father's memory. I informed him that the report of Colonel Chandler had not been submitted to me, and that I had but recently learned of its existence from you. That to its specific allegations I could only offer in reply the confidence I had entertained in General Winder as a gentleman and a soldier, and the conviction I had felt that he was too gallant to have oppressed anyone when at his mercy. In the same letter W. S. W. stated that the report of Colonel Chandler had been sent to General Winder for explanation, and that he had answered; also sending replies to special points by the quartermaster, the commissary and surgeon.

These I pointed out to him would be the best possible defense of his father, and if he could not get access to the captured archives, that the Secretary of War and the Adjutant, General S. Cooper, would no doubt remember the substance of those reports. I have never believed the Northern accusations against us in regard to the treatment of prisoners, and have contended that we did as well as our means permitted. It is another sad