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A History of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion, 1861–1865$
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George Washington Williams

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233854

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823233854.001.0001

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As Prisoners of War

As Prisoners of War

(p.217) 15 As Prisoners of War
A History of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion, 1861–1865

George Washington Williams

Fordham University Press

The capture and treatment of Negro soldiers by the enemy during the War of the Rebellion is a subject that demands dispassionate and judicial scrutiny. Whatever may be said of the gallantry of Confederate soldiers or the chivalry of the South, it remains true that the treatment bestowed upon Union prisoners of war in general, and upon Negroes in particular, has no parallel in the annals of modern civilized warfare. Slavery destroyed the Southern conscience, blunted the sensibilities and affections, and depreciated human life. The Confederate army exhibited a fierceness in battle and a cold cruelty to their prisoners that startled the civilized world. Confederate military prisons became places of torture wherein every species of cruelty was perpetrated. Among the many hells erected for the reception and retention of Union prisoners, Andersonville was perhaps the most notorious.

Keywords:   War of Rebellion, prisoners of war, Negro soldiers, slavery, Confederate army, military prisons, torture, Andersonville

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