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Civil War Prisons Paperback – March 15, 1997
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"The Black Presidency"
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Top Customer Reviews
Civil War Prisons, Edited by William B. Hesseltine, the actual book being reviewed here, is a collection of essays (or articles), which address different prisons which existed during the Civil War. These articles and their authors include:
Civil War Prisons - Introduction, by William B. Hesseltine
Prison Life at Andersonville, by Ovid Futch
The Military Prison at Fort Warren, by Minor H. McLain
Rock Island Prison Barracks, by T.R. Walker
A General Behind Bars: Neal Dow in Libby Prison, edited by Frank L.Read more ›
It almost appears as if Civil War Prisons comes from a Southern perspective with some northern sympathy. While Hesseltine accuses northerners of creating this wartime psychosis, and literally blames them for creating a public frenzy, no mention is recorded of how it was organized, why it occurred, and who was responsible for it. Additionally, the author leaves little criticism for the Southern mistreatment of Union prisoners, but does discuss the problems at Andersonville and other Confederate camps. In addition, the author dismisses the Southern notion that Confederate prisoners suffered the same or worst fate at Northern camps. However, though in no way a Southern apologist, Hesseltine's upbringing in Virginia remains filtered throughout the book as the author appears to have trouble "criticizing" the South.
The focal argument deals with the prisoner exchange system in which the author blames Lincoln and Grant for not exchanging prisoners of war during the last two years of the conflict.Read more ›
The essays collected in Civil War Prisons all originally appeared in a special issue of the journal "Civil War History." Predictably, they're both enjoyable and rigorously documented. One of them, the article on Andersonville, is also generously illustrated with both line drawings and photographs.
The essays focus on prisons both well-known and not so familiar. Ovid Futch writes on the infamous Andersonville; Minor McLain on Fort Warren, the federal prison on George's Island in Boston Harbor; T.R. Walker on Rock Island Prison on an island in the Mississippi River; Frank Byrne presents an edited version of General Neal Dowl's experiences as a captive in Richmond's Libby Prison; James Robertson's writes on New York's Elmira Prison, a camp so notorious for high death rates that it came to be called "Hellmira"; Edward Downer describes Johnson's Island in Lake Erie; and William Armstrong discusses the remarkable prison diaries of Pennsylvanian Edmund Ryan, captured not once but twice.
The essays describe what we've come to expect from writings on Civil War prison camps: the generally sorry treatment of inmates in terms of food, shelter, clothing, and medical care. Explanations for the treatment range from indifference to revenge to inability to care for massive quantities of prisoners after the parole system broke down.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have had this book before and liked it, misplaced it somewhere, so reordered it. It was received when I was supposed to get it.Published 18 months ago by Stephen E. Malmquist
Not all prisons listed as hoped.but many of them are listed in detail. Will be useful in completing research .Published on January 2, 2014 by S. Anson