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An ancestor of mine had been taken prisoner during the Civil War. So I wanted to explore prison conditions he might of faced. Andersonville had a reputation for being the worse place to end up if you were captured.
This book has to do with the guilt or innocence of Major Henry Wirz, commander of Andersonville prison. James Paige a prisoner of the prison bends over backwards to exonerate the Major.
He makes the case that prisoners and guards alike faced short rations and deplorable conditions. Many died from all manner of disease brought on by overcrowding, lack of sanitation, lack of medicine and food unfit to be fed to anyone. When smallpox broke out, the vaccines were given but they were tainted. Many died.
Paige refers to the decent treatment he received by Wirz. He makes the case that the Major was given orders and he followed them.
He does make a great case that the trial was a kangaroo court and Wirz was the scapegoat. They hanged him. Everyone else involved was exonerated. They had their pound of flesh.
He also states accurately that the Secretary of War was to blame for not exchanging prisoners. He didn't want to trade starved corpses for healthy soldiers. The Rebel captives were treated much better than Union prisoners. Union prisoners were to the point of death.
His reasoning was if we hand over healthy prisoners they would be able to go back to the war and prolong it.
Paige had done his homework and read all accounts of the prison written prior to his. In fact he is forever quoting these accounts.
It is not as intense as I thought it would be. The book is told more as an observer or reporter than by an actual prisoner. It is Andersonville seen through rose colored glasses.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sucked Don't buy it. It's a horrible narrator the story is totally biased did I mention that the narration Sucks!!!!!
0 of 2 people found this review helpful