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Andersonville: The Last Depot by William Marvel

By William Marvel

Among February 1864 and April 1865, 41,000 Union prisoners of struggle have been taken to the stockade at Anderson Station, Georgia, the place approximately 13,000 - one-third of them - died. such a lot modern money owed positioned the blame for the tragedy squarely at the shoulders of the Confederates who administered the legal or on a conspiracy of higher-ranking officers. during this conscientiously researched and compelling revisionist account, William wonder offers a complete historical past of Andersonville criminal and prerequisites inside of it. in accordance with trustworthy basic resources - together with diaries, Union and accomplice govt records, and letters - instead of exaggerated postwar memories and such famous yet spurious "diaries" as that of John Ransom, Marvel's research exonerates camp commandant Henry Wirz and others from fees that they intentionally exterminated prisoners, against the law for which Wirz used to be done after the struggle. in accordance with wonder, virulent affliction and serious shortages of greens, clinical offers, and different prerequisites mixed to create a challenge past Wirz's regulate. He additionally argues that the tragedy was once irritated by way of the Union selection to droop prisoner exchanges, which intended that many males who may have back domestic have been in its place left to sicken and die in captivity.

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Taking a calculated risk, Persons left his post, without orders, to snag the tools before they disappeared. In a few days he returned with them, and Captain Wirz distributed shovels to two platoons of prisoners whom he assigned to clean up the ordure daily. They still had to dump the refuse in the extremity of the stream, but Wirz came up with an idea that might reduce that annoyance, too: he wanted to build two dams on the upper part of the creek, their elevations staggered like a pair of locks, both of which he planned to open each day to flush out the accumulated filth.

From the first he did not like the job, largely because he lacked sufficient authority to demand the materials he needed to meet his responsibilities. 35 Andersonville -The Last Depot Page 37 One of the worst problems Wirz encountered was sanitation within the stockade. With more than seven thousand men confined in sixteen acres, a fetid odor hung over the entire pen. Latrines, like the two near the hospital, might have contained the excrement, where it could be periodically limed and buried, but Wirz could not get the loan of so much as a shovel.

Bogle remained at Andersonville through most of 1864, despite Henry Wirz’s personal efforts to have him exchanged or sent to an officers’ prison. 28 Andersonville -The Last Depot Page 35 Major Bogle reached Camp Sumter on March 14, and shortly afterward a civilian arrived among some other Olustee prisoners. David A. Cable, who had been a captain in a ninety-day Ohio regiment in 1861, had apparently dropped out of the conflict because of dissatisfaction with the political turn it had taken. Somehow he attached himself to the Federal army that penetrated Florida, and when he fell into Southern hands he introduced himself as what might have been called a minister extraordinary—very extraordinary.

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