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In Captives in Blue, Pickenpaugh tackles issues such as the ways the Confederate Army contended with the growing prison population, the variations in the policies and practices in the different Confederate prison camps, the effects these policies and practices had on Union prisoners, and the logistics of prisoner exchanges. Digging further into prison policy and practices, Pickenpaugh explores conditions that arose from conscious government policy decisions and conditions that were the product of local officials or unique local situations. One issue unique to Captives in Blue is the way Confederate prisons and policies dealt with African American Union soldiers. Black soldiers held captive in Confederate prisons faced uncertain fates; many former slaves were returned to their former owners, while others were tortured in the camps.
Drawing on prisoner diaries, Pickenpaugh provides compelling first-person accounts of life in prison camps often overlooked by scholars in the field.
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By Jan on 05-03-16
Neither side was prepared for the volume of POWs
Very well documented thesis addressing the problems of both Union POWs and Confederate management of prisons. Not just by mismanagement or deliberate cruelty were prisoners afflicted, but by unpreparedness for the housing, feeding, sanitation, and medical care. And the costs were totally unplanned. The bureaucratic mess surrounding prisoner exchanges is boggling. More than a history lesson, it becomes a humanity lesson.
Good thing Narrator Jack is on task to keep us from expiring from the tediousness of this excruciatingly precise and dismal recounting.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful