Confederate POW’s


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

James King
Commander SCV Camp 141

Lt. Col. Thomas M. Nelson
Albany, Georgia

38th Congress

2nd Session S.R. 97


January 26, 1865

Mr. Wade submitted the following amendment: Strike out the parts within
[brackets] and insert the words printed in italics.

Joint Resolution

Advising retaliation for the cruel treatment of prisoners by the

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.