For Educational Purposes
Posted below is a joint resolution of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives S.R. 97 calling for abuse, torture, starvation, and exposure to weather of Confederate POW’s. The yankees had been treating Confederate POW’s in this manner throughout the year and this abuse was intentional. Due to the yankee blockade medicine was scarce in the south as was food. Yankee prisoners were not intentionally mistreated. At Andersonville Georgia several requests were made to have the North send doctors and medicine to treat the POW’s but they refused. When Sherman captured Atlanta he could have freed them. Nothing stood in his way. The yankees knew the South would be honorbound to try and feed and clothe the POW’s and it would continue to put a burden on the Southern war effort. So in a land of plenty the cruel yankee politicians used Southern shortages to justify the abuse of Confederate POW’s. It was the yankee politicians and certain yankee military officers that should have been tried for war crimes and not Capt. Henry Wirz the commander of Andersonville. The History Channel did an excellent job of portraying the yankee abuse of Confederate POW’s in the recent documentary "80 Acres of Hell."
Commander SCV Camp 141
Lt. Col. Thomas M. Nelson
2nd Session S.R. 97
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
January 26, 1865
Mr. Wade submitted the following amendment: Strike out the parts within
Advising retaliation for the cruel treatment of prisoners by the insurgents.
Whereas it has come to the knowledge of Congress that great numbers of our soldiers who have fallen as prisoners of war in the hands of the insurgents, have been subjected to treatment unexampled for cruelty in the history of the of civilized war, and finding its parallels only in the conduct of savage tribes; a treatment resulting in the death of multitudes by the slow but designed process of starvation and by mortal diseases occasioned by insufficient and unhealthy food, by wanton exposures of their persons to the inclemency of the weather and by deliberate assassination of innocent and unoffending men; and the murder of cold blood of prisoners after surrender; and whereas a continuance of the barbarities, in contempt of the laws of war and in disregard of the remonstrances of the national authorities, has presented to us the alternative of suffering our braves soldiers thus to be destroyed, or to apply the principle of retaliation for their protection: Therefore, Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in the judgment of Congress, it has become justifiable and necessary that the President should, in order to prevent the continuance and recurrence of the barbarities, and to insure the observance by the insurgents of the laws of civilized war, resort at once to the measures of retaliation: [that in our opinion such retaliation ought to be inflicted upon the insurgent officers now in our hands, or hereafter to fall into our hands as prisoners; that such officers ought to be subjected to like treatment practiced towards our officers or soldiers in the hands of the insurgents, in respect to quantity and quality of food, clothing, fuel, medicine, medical attendance, and personal exposure, or other mode of dealing with them; that with a view of the same ends, the insurgent prisoners in our hands ought to be placed under the control and in the keeping of officers and men who have themselves been prisoners in the hands of the insurgents, and have thus acquired a knowledge of their mode of treating Union prisoners; that explicit instructions ought to be given to the forces having the charge of such insurgent prisoners, requiring them to carry out strictly and promptly the principles of this resolution in every case, until the President, having received satisfactory information of the abandonment by the insurgents of such barbarous practices, shall revoke or modify said instruction.] And that the executive and military authorities of the United States are hereby directed to retaliate upon the prisoners of the enemy in such manner and kind as shall be effective in deterring him from the perpetration in future of cruel and barbarous treatment of our soldiers. Congress do not, however, intend by this resolution to limit or restrict the power of the President to the modes or principles of retaliation herein mentioned, but only to advise and require a resort to them as demanded by the occasion