Cairo, Illinois, February 16, 1863
This week in the Civil War for February 17, 1863

Horrible death of Confederate prisoners.

The Daily Dispatch: February 17, 1863.

The death by freezing of twelve Confederate prisoners at Camp Douglas, Ohio, has been noticed. The 65th Illinois (Scotch) regiment, on guard there, held a meeting and protested against the condition of the camp and barracks. The Chicago Times has the following particulars of the death of the prisoners:

Word was brought to the city last evening that during the night of Sunday, twelve of the Confederate prisoners confined in the pens at Camp Douglas were frozen to death. It is asserted that on Mondaymorning they were found in the miserable handful of hay in their bunks frozen stiff, though to all appearances in the enjoyment of perfect health the day previous. The barracks at Camp Douglas are well known to be totally unfitted during the prevalence of such weather as the present, for the use of anything, scarcely cattle. These in which these prisoners are confined are many of them destitute of stoves; the windows in some of them are broken out, and through the holes and the cracks in the sides and the apertures in the roof the cold wind freely enters.

It is said that the local officers at the camp, actuated by a humanity their superiors might pattern after with profit, have done all in their power to make the condition of the prisoners comfortable. But there are those above them who have a terribles in to answer for. It were mercy that, after their capitulation, our cannon had been turned upon these prisoners, and butchred them where they stood, than that from a far Southern clime, without any preparation being made for their comfort or protection they should be transported hither, to meet with scarcely anything worthy the name of shelter, the fierce rigors of a Northern winter-- to be murdered by neglect — to endure the tortures of a death by cold.

From The Richmond Daily Dispatch
comments powered by Disqus