Death Camp

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ndersonville Prison: The Civil War’s Death Camp
The first time that confining large amounts of prisoners of war was dealt was during the American Civil War(Roberts, 12). Both the Union and the Confederacy had regulations that said the P.O.W.s had to be treated humanely, one of them saying that a wounded prisoner would be taken to the back of the army and be treated with the rest of the soldiers(14). There were also prisoner exchange regulations, where a captured general would be worth sixty privates or an equivalently ranked officer, and a colonel would be worth fifteen privates or an equivalently ranked officer, and so on(13). Also there were regulations on prisoner parole. The parole system said that the prisoner that was released was not allowed to return to the battle unless a prisoner of the other army was released to the army that had paroled the prisoner(14). This was all very confusing.
As the war wore on the system of regulations began to dissolve(Roberts, 12). The mass amount of paperwork that it took to make sure that either side was not being cheated was just too great. Then the problems elevated when the two sides began to bicker about alleged violations of the parole agreements. The North claimed to have seen paroled Confederates under arms, and the Confederates accused the Union of having paroled soldiers as military labor battalions(14).
The Confederacy was extremely short of the resources needed to fight a war and had much more to lose in a prisoner exchange then the Union(Roberts, 15). The South desperately needed its soldiers back, and did not have enough resources to guard large amounts of prisoners. The issue of prisoner exchange was finally brought to an end when the Union began to use blacks as military personnel. The Confederates threatened to execute any white commander of a black regiment, and to sell any captured black troops into slavery, and under no circumstance would the south consider exchanging black soldiers. This is an extremely racist thing to do.
Ulysses S. Grant argued that the P.O.W. exchanges only prolonged the Civil War by funneling more troops back into the confederate army. He was frustrated that the troops that he had paroled were found in other battles(Roberts, 16). In July 1863, Ulysses S. Gran...

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... because the stockade was only about half finished. There were no arrangements to feed the prisoners, no locks on the gates, no timber for stockade shelters, and the troops were basically unarmed. The early shipment of the prisoners was prompted by the escape of Libby Prison on February 9 of that year. There was also a major food shortage in Virginia, and the only way to relieve it was to send the prisoners to Georgia(Roberts, 23).
On February 24, 1864 the first two hundred prisoners of Andersonville Prison arrived at the local train station. The prisoners were then led like cattle to the still unfinished pine stockade. When the prisoners entered the stockade they saw a large open area surrounded on three sides by a large pine wall. There were no shelters of any kind to protect the prisoners from the elements. The underbrush had also not been properly cleared out and there was still vegetation on the ground. The food was issued in small rations, and all food was raw. The cookhouse was still unfinished and there were no pots or pans to cook the rations, so the prisoners had to scavenge some firewood and use whatever implements they could find to cook their first meal(Roberts, 26).

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