THE TREATMENT OF PRISONERS


TESTIMONY OF GENERAL GRANT
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*SOUTHERN HISTORICAL SOCIETY PAPERS
Vol. I. Richmond, Va., March, 1876.
No.4. April -   Pages 317



 
But the following extract from the

TESTIMONY OF GENERAL GRANT  before the Committee on the Conduct of the War, given February 11th, 1865, may be added as an end of controversy on this point:
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Question.
It has been said that we refused to exchange prisoners because we found ours starved, diseased, unserviceable when we received them, and did not to exchange sound men for such men? 

Answer.
There never has been any such reason as that. That has been a reason for making exchanges.
I will confess that if our men who are prisoners in the South were really well taken care of, suffering nothing except a little privation of liberty, then, in a military point of view, it would not be good policy for us to exchange, because every man they get back is forced right into the army at once, while that is not the case with our prisoners when we receive them. In fact, the half of our returned prisoners will never go into the army again, and none of them will until after they have had a furlough of thirty or sixty days. Still, the fact of their suffering as they
do is a reason for making this exchange as rapidly as possible. 

Question. And never has been a reason for not making the exchange? 

Answer.
It never has. Exchanges having been suspended by reason of disagreement on the part of agents of exchange on both sides before I came in command of the armies of the United States, and it then being near the opening of the spring campaign, I did not deem it advisable or just to the men who had to fight our battles to re-enforce the enemy with thirty or forty thousand disciplined troops at that time. An immediate resumption of exchanges would have had that effect without giving us corresponding benefits. The suffering said to exist among our prisoners South was a powerful argument against the course pursued, and I so felt it.


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THE NEGRO QUESTION
 



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