Andersonville Essay Research Paper Andersonville Torture screams — страница 3

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and money. The worst case of desperation in finding food at Elmira was the case when prisoners killed a small dog, hid it in their bunk, and waited until dark to eat the roasted dog. The Union officially said that these problems resulted from ?lack of appetite because of homesickness? and ?slightly inferior quality of food owing to the severe drought of the year?. The drought did explain some of it, but basically the prisoners were just not fed enough, and ate poor food. The hot temperature and the drought made many prisoners want to buy food, but vendors were not allowed to sell as order of Hoffman. The winter soon came and the Confederates were not used to the cold weather. They had scanty clothes and further clothing sent by families was not allowed to be given to prisoners

until approved by the government. When the clothes were approved, only the gray clothes could be used and the blue clothes were burned. The Southerners were able to purchase clothing whereas the Northerners in the South weren?t able to buy clothing and were being treated harshly. Therefore, only the poorest quality of clothing and blankets were given out, and only when necessary. Many attempts were made to give clothes to prisoners but they were all rejected. The barracks were now also in bad shape. Many froze to death, especially in the tents. Stoves were issued to Elmira and two rations of wood were given each day. Hoffman began to give in. The proceeds from a cotton sale went to buy clothing for prisoners, and did bring some relief. This harsh winter caused many people to die,

but more problems were still to come. In the spring, heavy rains made the Chemung River overflow. The men had to move around constantly to avoid the rising waters. A train accident also killed many prisoners on the way to Elmira. Foster?s Pond was a great source of disease, and drainage ditches were denied. When the ditches were finally built, many prisoners had already died from disease. Hoffman sent the physically unfit to Washington for a prisoner exchange. 1,200 men were sent but 105 men either died, were turned back because they were unfit for the journey, or were dying. 36% of Elmira?s prisoners would die in less than a year because of the poor conditions which caused smallpox, scurvy, diarrhea, and pneumonia. The many sicknesses led to the need for a good medical staff.

However, there was none. The men?s needs were denied. Medicines were not given, they were sold. Amateur doctors used Elmira just for experience, and later moved on. Because of amateurism, incorrect treatment killed some prisoners. One case was too much arsenic, which can be poisonous. The physician and chief surgeon E.L. Sanger resigned because he knew that he would be court-marshaled if he didn?t. The sick were mostly put in tents, but a few of the worst cases were put in barracks. This made the others around them sick also. Punishment was also a concern at Elmira. The punishment was made by the guard or officer who witnessed the crime. The most common punishment was the barrel shirt with the crime written on it. Another punishment was the sweatbox, which was very small and hot.

Prisoners got no food, water, or ventilation when inside it. Bucking and gagging was another punishment. There was no deadline like Andersonville, and no deaths could be attributed to discipline. Many deaths could be attributed to Hoffman because of his feelings of the war?s psychology and retaliation for the South?s treatment of the Northern prisoners. Out of 12,123 prisoners in Elmira, 2,963 died. The death rate was 25%, whereas other camps? death rates in the North were around 11.7%. Andersonville?s deathrate was only 2% higher at 27%. Both camps were places of very poor conditions and much suffering which could have been stopped, if not for Hoffmann and Wirz. That is why they were both truly ?Hell on Earth? and Elmira is known as ?Hellmira?. Magazines 1)?Andersonville

remembers America?s POWs? Civil War Times, April 1996, p. 18, 20-21, 73-75 2)?Andersonville: the Myth Endures? Civil War Times, April 1996, p. 10, 78 3)?Northern Hell on Earth? America?s Civil War, March 1991, p. 25-29 Encyclopedia 1)?Civil War.? World Book Encyclopedia, 1994, Vol. 4, p. 631 Movie 1)Andersonville. TNT, 1996.