War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0869 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. --UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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able to add anything of value. I recollect very well that when first the idea of giving the substance of that paragraph occurred to me I hesitated again, fearing to write down something wholly superfluous. Still, I thought of the unmeasured arrogance of our enemy--one of the motive elements of this whole war--how he pretended to lay down the most extravagant and immoral things as lawfull, and I recollected an article in an Alabama journal, in which the editor called upon his authorities not to forget to send with all the troops a sufficient number of negroes to do working business, for, said he, our soldiers are all gentlemen, every one of them. I thought of all this and concluded to put down paragraph 76. It appears from your letter that I did right. Prisoners of war are universally set to work, when ever work can be found for them. If a besieged commander happens to have prisoners and is not obliged to drive them out of the fortress for want of food, it is they, before all others, who are used to repair the fortifications, to clear the streets, &c., and I have not the least hesitation in saying that a European commander who should be proved to have neglected to use prisoners for such work or for repairing bridges or railways or for fetching supplies (communication and food being quite as important as fortifications; Frederick the Great used

to say: "Armies march on their bellies") would be cashiered. But the thing could never happen. Prisoners of war, however, are not only used for military work; they are set to work to do anything for which the captor can conveniently use them. The captor feeds them and clothes them and their time belongs to his. Prussian were used by Napoleon I to work on the unfinished great canals

of France. Some of them used to tell me how anxious they were to be drafted for this canal work, because it gave them better food and clothing than they received in the churches or other buildings where they were huddled together and died like flies. Prussian officers frequently commanded these prisoners in the digging work. I have known officers or other educated prisoners being used for writing, &c. Of course, if they objected they could not well be forced to do such work, but then it would not have been to their advantage to do so. The liberty of the street would probably have been. I have seen French prisoners of war working as blacksmiths, &c., in making artillery or commissary wagons, &c. Perhaps a little allowance was given them; I do not know. They worked cheerfully, too. I repeat, the prisoner of war is universally put to work, if work can be found, and I think my memory does not deceive me when I say that sometimes private individuals have hired so many hundred prisoners from the Government for some great work; may, I think the Russian Government distributed a number of French prisoners of war among the land owners, to do the work of the men who had been taken away from agriculture for the war. I speak of the war of 1810 and 1811. I think I am right, and am quite sure that it would always be done when found expedient. I recollect single French prisoners taken into service of private individuals, the Government thus getting rid of feeding them. I recollect having seen it stated in the papers that the French had used Mexican prisoners for work in their colonies. Whether this is a fact I do not know, but I do know that if they have not done so it was from no idea of delicacy or incompatibleness with the usages of war. The French are no super-refined philosophers in war. If, then, it is the universal usage of war to make prisoners work, and thus reimburse in part the expenditure they cause, the only remaining question for me in

drawing up the little code was--Is there any reason of honor or humanity why this usage should be