War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0338 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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A candid reader of these publications will nor fail to discover that whether the statements they make be true or not, their spirit is not adapted to promote a better feeling between the hostile powers. They are not intended for the humane purpose of ameliorating the condition of the unhappy prisoners held in captivity. They are designed to inflame the evil passions of the North; to keep up the war spirit among their own people; to represent the South as acting under the dominion of a spirit of cruelty, inhumanity, and interested malice, and thus to vilify her people in the eyes of all on whom these publications can work. They are justly characterized by the Honorable James M. Mason as belonging to that class of leterature called the 'sensational" - a style of writing prevalent for many years at the North, and which, beginning with the writers of newspaper narratives and cheap fiction, has gradually extended itself until it is now the favored mode adopted by medical professors, judges of courts, and reverend clergyme, and is even chosen as the proper style for a report by a committee of their Congress.


Nothing can better illustrate the truth of this view than the "Report Numbers 67" and its appendages. It is accompanied by eight pictures or photographs, alleged to represent U. S. prisoners of war, returned from Richmond, in a sad state o femaciation and suffering. Concerning these cases, your committee will have other remarks, to be presently submitted. They are only alluded to now to show that this report does really belong to the 'sensational" class of literature, and that, "prima facie," it is open to the same criticism to which the yellowcovered novels, the "narratives of noted highwaymen," and the "awful beacons" of the Northern bookstalls should be subjected.

The intent and spirit of this report may be gathered from the following extract:

The evidence proves, beyond all manner of doubt, a determination on the part of the rebel authorities, deliberately and persistently practiced for a long time past, to subject those of our soldiers who have been so unfortunate as to fall in their hands to a system of treatment which has resulted in reducing many of those who have survived and been permitted to return to us to a condition, both physically and mentally, which no language we can use can adequately describe. - Report, p. [1].

And they give also a letter from Edwin M. Stanton, the Northern Secretary of War, from which the following is an extract:

The enormity of the crime committed by the rebels toward our prisoners for the last several months is not known or realized by our people, and cannot but fill with horror the civilized world when the facts are fully revealed. There appears to have been a deliberate system of savage and barbarous treatment and starvation, the result of which will be that few (if any) of the prisoners that have been in their hands during the past winter will ever again be in a conditiion to render any service or even to enjoy life. - Report, p. 4.

And the Sanitary Commission, in their pamphlet, after picturing many scenes of privation and suffering, and bringing many charges of cruelty against the Confederate authorities, declare as follows:

The conclusion is unavoidable, therefore, that these privations and sufferings have been designedly inflicted by the military and other authorities of the rebel Government, and could not have been due to causes which such authorities could not control. - P. 95.


After examinig these publications your committee approached the subject wiht an earnest desire to ascertain the truth. If their investi-