Essay about Death Camp
The first time that confining large amounts of prisoners of war was dealt was during the American Civil War(Roberts, 12). Both the Union and the Confederacy had regulations that said the P.O.W.s had to be treated humanely, one of them saying that a wounded prisoner would be taken to the back of the army and be treated with the rest of the soldiers(14). There were also prisoner exchange regulations, where a captured general would be worth sixty privates or an equivalently ranked officer, and a colonel would be worth fifteen privates or an equivalently ranked officer, and so on(13). Also there were regulations on prisoner parole. The parole system said that the …show more content…
Thousands of Union P.O.W.s were taken in the heavy combat of the summer and fall of 1863. The south was overwhelmed with these prisoners and the burden of caring for them. The Southern officials requested that the prisoner exchanges begin again with on a one-for-one basis with no question of rank or race(Roberts, 16). However the North refused to change its policy, and the number of Union prisoners in the hands of the Confederates grew.
The Southern leaders realized that there was going to be no prisoner exchanges in the near future. They now had to begin to fit the thousands of prisoners into every square inch of the Confederate prisons, and then they had to find some place to put the tens of thousands of prisoners that were arriving each day. Before the exchanges stopped, old warehouses were often used as temporary prisons. The largest and most well known of these warehouse converts were in Richmond, Danville, and Petersburg. After the exchanges stopped however, this all changed. That many Union troops near the capitol made the Confederate officials nervous. It was also feared that