War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Introduction

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Intro
Prisoner's of War Intro



Vol. 6 Introduction - Serial 119

Prisoners of War

These volumes contain many reports and letters from junior military figures, department commanders, Commissioners for prisoner exchanges, naval officers, and politicians in Washington and Richmond.
The subject, in one way or another, is always the question of what to do with the leftovers of war: prisoners, or civilians who disagree with the government. As examples of the nastiness of warfare in a Border State with divided loyalties, we have material on Missouri in the early war. Two contrasts are offered of different political situations: Maryland under Union occupation, and East Tennessee under Confederate occupation.
The whole question of civilian disloyalty to government in wartime is covered in Volume 2, from big cities to small towns.
The bulk of the material is about the details of prisoner exchanges, from the plaintive reports of field officers about where to send their prisoners, to political decisions about how to treat them. Key decisions were made early in the war: captured soldiers would be treated as belligerents, not hanged as rebels. Late in the war the Union stopped exchanges to run the CSA out of soldiers, and the results included such prison camps as Andersonville.

This volume continues the correspondence and reports on prisoner-of-war matters from June 11, 1863 to March 31, 1864. It includes the arrangements to exchange the Confederate forces that surrendered at Vicksburg.



Intro
Prisoner's of War Intro