American Civil war - Page 3




 
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October 19th, 2015  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Its often been stated by Afrikaners that the British invented the concentration camps, I always thought they were in use during the American Civil War well before the Anglo Boer War.
October 19th, 2015  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
Its often been stated by Afrikaners that the British invented the concentration camps, I always thought they were in use during the American Civil War well before the Anglo Boer War.
There was a pretty bad POW camp in the south. I think it was called Andersonville.
October 20th, 2015  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I3BrigPvSk
There was a pretty bad POW camp in the south. I think it was called Andersonville.
Thats what I thought.
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October 20th, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
Thats what I thought.
While conditions in CS POW camps were pretty bad they were still POW camps and not concentration camps where as the British rounded up whole families of Afrikaners thus making them concentration camps and not POW camps.
October 22nd, 2015  
George
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I3BrigPvSk
There was a pretty bad POW camp in the south. I think it was called Andersonville.
the Victors write the stories. Andersonville & the other POW camps in the South were nightmares, but the South didn't have the recourses. The civilians had big food shortages and Army was fighting on rations not much larger than the POWs were starving on. Governor Vance of N. Carolina offered to have US food shipments sent to the Camps in his State, with guarantees of delivery, but was turned down by the US. The North, on the other hand, had plenty of recourses but withheld it from the prisoners in retaliation for conditions in the Southern camps. After the War the Elmira, NY Camp became known unofficially as the Andersonville of the North. The Camp's doctor bragged he'd killed more Confederates than anyone else in the Army. Johnson's Island and Camp Douglas weren't a picnic either.
2 Weeks Ago  
Duty Honor Country
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by George
the Victors write the stories. Andersonville & the other POW camps in the South were nightmares, but the South didn't have the recourses. The civilians had big food shortages and Army was fighting on rations not much larger than the POWs were starving on. Governor Vance of N. Carolina offered to have US food shipments sent to the Camps in his State, with guarantees of delivery, but was turned down by the US. The North, on the other hand, had plenty of recourses but withheld it from the prisoners in retaliation for conditions in the Southern camps. After the War the Elmira, NY Camp became known unofficially as the Andersonville of the North. The Camp's doctor bragged he'd killed more Confederates than anyone else in the Army. Johnson's Island and Camp Douglas weren't a picnic either.
I do not agree with the "The North, on the other hand, had plenty of resources but withheld it from the prisoners in retaliation for conditions in the Southern camps" claim. If you have some very reliable sources you can persuade my opinion.

The deadly equation that killed over 54,000 Civil War prisoners is quite simple. POWs + small living area + severe overcrowding + no hygiene + bad water supply + sewage + no shelter + exposure to the elements + substandard food + disease = death.
2 Weeks Ago  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duty Honor Country
I do not agree with the "The North, on the other hand, had plenty of resources but withheld it from the prisoners in retaliation for conditions in the Southern camps" claim. If you have some very reliable sources you can persuade my opinion.

The deadly equation that killed over 54,000 Civil War prisoners is quite simple. POWs + small living area + severe overcrowding + no hygiene + bad water supply + sewage + no shelter + exposure to the elements + substandard food + disease = death.
While your conclusion is true surely the fact that the Union had the resources to ensure those conditions were not an issue for them indicates that those resources were withheld.

My suspicion is that there was enough malice on both sides to have artificially created those conditions, the Confederacy has some level of mitigation in that they had limited resources throughout the war and as such could never have provided much more than the basics without adopting some creative thinking (prison farms for example).

My impression overall is that both sides went out of their way to neglect POW's, places like Elmira and Point Lookout were as bad as anything the Confederates could come up with.
2 Weeks Ago  
Duty Honor Country
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
While your conclusion is true surely the fact that the Union had the resources to ensure those conditions were not an issue for them indicates that those resources were withheld.

My suspicion is that there was enough malice on both sides to have artificially created those conditions, the Confederacy has some level of mitigation in that they had limited resources throughout the war and as such could never have provided much more than the basics without adopting some creative thinking (prison farms for example).

My impression overall is that both sides went out of their way to neglect POW's, places like Elmira and Point Lookout were as bad as anything the Confederates could come up with.
I will keep a look out for any information in POW camps in my research. I am following a news paper from Waterville, Maine from 1859 through at least 1870. It will be interesting to read about the times from the words of those who lived in that time.

There is no doubt that there was malice on both sides and the Union was motivated to treat rebel prisoners badly once word got out on the conditions of the POW camps in the south.

We should consider the scale of housing that many POWs. Multiple sources puts the number of POWs at 410,000 during the Civil War. The US population in 1860 was 31.4 million. The Civil War POWs represent 1.3% of the overall US population. 1.3% of today's US population is 4,242,000 people, or slightly greater than the population of LA. Our modern society would have issues housing that many people on such short notice.

I could not find any numbers on the US prison population in 1860. The 1880 census said there were 57,000 inmates in the US. I also know that the prison population grew significantly after the Civil War. I make a wild guess that there were 40,000 people in prison at the time of the Civil War. This means that the POW issue in the US was approximately 10 times larger than the overall prison system in the US.

Lastly, I assumed that the officers running the prisons were below average. Good officers were hard to come by in the Civil War. Competent officers would be given combat commands. I bet prison camp assignments were given to those officers who were incompetent or had made mistakes prior to their assignment.
2 Weeks Ago  
MontyB
 
 
My general argument though is not that there were no mitigating circumstances that contributed to the conditions POWs endured but rather that the North could have offered far better conditions than they did.
For example, by the end of the war, Elmira prison had a 25% death rate while the much-maligned Andersonville had 28% which cost the Commandant Henry Wirz his life as a war criminal.

Confederate prisoners at Alton, Illinois Federal prison suffered from scurvy, anaemia and other diseases brought on by malnutrition. This is ironic, since unlike the South, Alton never experienced a food shortage so my argument is that while the Confederates could have tried harder to improve the welfare of POWs they did not have the resources to do much indeed I read in several sources Union POWs in many areas received the same rations that Confederate soldiers received whereas Confederate POWs in the North were dying of malnutrition in areas that had no food shortages which does back up the argument that conditions in the North were deliberately maintained.
1 Week Ago  
George
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
My general argument though is not that there were no mitigating circumstances that contributed to the conditions POWs endured but rather that the North could have offered far better conditions than they did.
For example, by the end of the war, Elmira prison had a 25% death rate while the much-maligned Andersonville had 28% which cost the Commandant Henry Wirz his life as a war criminal.

Confederate prisoners at Alton, Illinois Federal prison suffered from scurvy, anaemia and other diseases brought on by malnutrition. This is ironic, since unlike the South, Alton never experienced a food shortage so my argument is that while the Confederates could have tried harder to improve the welfare of POWs they did not have the resources to do much indeed I read in several sources Union POWs in many areas received the same rations that Confederate soldiers received whereas Confederate POWs in the North were dying of malnutrition in areas that had no food shortages which does back up the argument that conditions in the North were deliberately maintained.
Pretty much on target. Wasn't that way early in the war. For example in N.Y they were concerned with the conditions of the POWs. As NY replaced its State Gray uniforms with blue the gray ones in good shape were issued to the POWs. Probably some POWs were exchanged still in the NY uniforms leaving a possibility of fighting in them. But as was said, later when the conditions in the Southern camps were found out the North started intentionally neglecting the POWs. http://www.northernsunprint.com/page....html?nav=5000
 


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