IMHO, I believe you have too look deeper than those
numbers, what was availible for the prisoners, and
what was kept from them.
> Certainly there is some of this mentality. Many
> Union officers viewed the Rebels as traitors, and
> sometimes felt the prisoners should be grateful to
> be alive, let alone cared for:)
> The two highest death rates were Andersonville, with
> some 28% of the 31,000 held there, and Elmira, with
> something like 24% of the 10,000 held there.
> IMO, Andersonville stands alone because of the
> unbelievable squalor and lack of care that prisoners
> got there, far worse than anything in any other
> prison, North or South, (though I think Salisbury NC
> came close) Most of this was due to local
> incompetence rather than intentional neglect at the
> War Dept Level, but that hardly excuses it.
> Dave Powell
> -----Original Message-----
> From: jimchristianhall <jimchristianhall@...>
> To: email@example.com
> Sent: Fri, 24 Mar 2006 18:37:42 -0000
> Subject: [civilwarwest] Great discussion on prisons
> Hey folks,
> I've enjoyed the discussion about Camp Douglas and
> thanks for all who
> have responded to my query.
> Thanks very much for the information about the
> History Channel
> special. I have to say that I was scratching my head
> about the 50
> percent death rate quoted, i.e.
> "The death rate was about 14%, not the ridiculous
> 50% claimed above."
> Generally, death rates were in the 10 to 15 percent
> range, so I don't
> know how they would claim 50 percent. Perhaps the
> number of prisoners
> they quoted was for just a specific time and not the
> TOTAL number of
> prisoners who were incarcerated there. I don't
> doubt that 6,000 could
> have died, but I do seriously doubt that it was
> 6,000 out of 12,000.
> Camp Douglas is really a story worth telling and it
> is hard to
> understand why prisoners were treated so harshly
> during the Civil War.
> My thought is the "eye for an eye, tooth for a
> tooth" mentality.
> Jim Hall
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