War of the Rebellion: Serial 121 Page 0345 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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men whom they have long injured and hated. Your committee feel bound to reply to it calmly but emphatically. They pronounce ift false in fact and design; false in the basis on which it assumes to rest, and false in its estimate of the motives which have controlled the Southern authorities.


At an early period in the present contest the Confederate Government recognized their obligation to treat prisoners of war with humanity and consideratiion. Before any laws wer passed on the subject the Executive Department provided such prisoners as fell into their hands with proper quarters and barracks to shelter them, and with rations the same in quantity and quality as those furnished to the Confederate soldiers who guarded these prisoners. They also showed an earnest wish to mitigate the sad condition of prisoners of war by a systom of fair and prompt exchange; and the Confederate Congress co-operated in these humane views. By their act, approved on the 21st day of May, 1861, they provited that -

all prisoenrs of war taken, whether on land or at sea, during the pending hostilities with the United States shall be transferred by the captors from time to time, and as often as convenient to the Department of War; and it shall be the duty of the Secretary of War, with the approval of the President, to issue such instructions to the Quartermaster-General and his subordinates as shall provide for the safe custody and sustenance of prisoners of war; and the rations furnished prisoners of war shll be the same in quantity and quality as those furnished to enlisted men in the Army of the confederacy.

Such were the declared purpose and policy of the Confederate Government toward prisoners of war; and amid all the privations and losess to which their enemies have subjected them they have sought to carry them into effect.


Our investigations for this preliminary report have been confined chiefly to the rations and treatment of the prisoners of war at the Libby and other prisons in Richmond and on Belle Isle. This we have done because the publications to which we have alluded refer chiefly to them, and because the Report Numbers 67 of the Northern Congress plainly intimates the belief that the treatment in and around Richmond was worse than it was farther South. That report says:

It will be observed from the testimony that all the witnesse who testify upon that point state that the treatment they received while confined at Columbia, S. C., Dalton, Ga., and other places, was far more humane than that they received at Richmond, where the authorities of the so-called Confederacy were congregated. - Report, p. 3.

The evidence proves that the rations furnished to prisoners of war in Richmond and on Belle Isle have been never less than those furnished to the Confederate soldiers who guarded them, and have at some seasons been larger in quantity and better in quality than those frunished to Confederate troops in the field. This has been because untilk February, 1865, the Quartermaster's Department furnished the prisoners, and often had provisions or funds when the Commissary Department was not so well provided. Once, and only once, for a few weeks the prisoners were without meat, but a larger quantity of bread and vegetable food was in consequence supplied to them. How often the gallant men composing the Confederate Army have beent