"THE FEDERAL'S DISPOSABLE"
OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND
*SOUTHERN HISTORICAL SOCIETY PAPERS
From the Richmond Dispatch, August 2, 1891
LINES BY REV. JOSHUA PETERKIN, D. D.
The following poem from the pen of Rev. Joshua Peterkin,
D. D., appeared in the Hartford (Conn.) Courier in 1865, and, now that
G. E. T. L.
Full fifteen thousand men,
On many a bloody field
They pined for home, sweet home,
E'en hardened rebels felt their grief,
For still they let our brave men share
The sad tale must be told:
Those fifteen thousand boys in blue
The rebels, in their needed,
Even Davis felt their grief,
And why, alas! was it not done?
There was no heart in Washington.
The rebels gave us leave
Men good and true, who might receive
But no, these gallant men
A wise, sagacious move!
A stroke of policy!
So called by those who know not love
But ah! those noble boys in blue--
The rebels, pinched and pressed,
Our ships could not be spared to save
Who did such grevious wrong
Men who were anxious to prolong
Who cares for fifteen thousand men
*In January, 1864, the Confederates proposed to allow
the Federal authorities to send their own surgeons to the South. It was
proposed, also, that these surgeons should act as commissaries, and distribute
whatever either the United States Government or private benevolence should
furnish. Of course, the Confederates would have desired a similar opportunity
for their surgeons to minister to Southern prisoners at the North. The
United States authorities, however, never gave any reply to the proposition,
though the war continued for more than a year after it was made.
+In August, 1864, when the mortality was increasing at Andersonville, the Confederates offered to give up from ten to fifteen thousand men unconditionally, except that the United States' authorities were to send for them. After a delay of three fearful months, the most sickly of the year, they did send and took away thirteen thousand, leaving in their place three thousand Southerners, who were even more squalid and sickly than the poor fellows they took home.
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