By Benjamin G. Cloyd
"This cogent and polished ebook bargains a clean dialogue of and standpoint on a fraught topic---military prisons in the course of the Civil conflict. In his compelling and significant paintings, Cloyd urges us to reflect on easy methods to verify and assign accountability for the horrors of the Civil battle whereas enticing with enduring questions on its that means and legacy."---W. Fitzhugh Brundage, editor of the place those stories develop: historical past, reminiscence, and neighborhood identification within the American South "This enticing therapy seems to be at how generations of usa citizens have interpreted the brutality inherent within the legal process through the Civil battle. Anger over remedy of prisoners of battle supplied a roadblock alongside the line to reunion for a lot longer than different historians have proven. or even this present day, in the course of a extra dispassionate time, it continues to be tough to recollect this darkish nook of the prior. much less a narrative approximately prisons than approximately how we come to grips with the ethical problems with battle, Cloyd has supplied a good carrier in displaying this hyperlink among prior and present."---William Blair, writer of towns of the lifeless: Contesting the reminiscence of the Civil struggle within the South, 1865-1914 "Haunted through Atrocity liberates scholars of the Civil struggle from the all too primary blame video game that americans have oftentimes performed whilst coming to phrases with the spectacular dying that happened now not at the battlefield, yet from the inhumane stipulations of confinement. by means of displaying us why Northerners and Southerners have reacted to the felony controversies on the such a lot visceral point, Cloyd exposes the advanced and contradictory ways in which american citizens have made ancient which means, complicated political agendas, and secured monetary achieve whereas forgetting crucial legacy of Civil warfare prisons---who is liable for the humane remedy of prisoners of war."---Peter Carmichael, writer of The final new release: younger Virginians in Peace, warfare, and Reunion. through the Civil struggle, nearly 56,000 Union and accomplice squaddies died in enemy army criminal camps. Even in the middle of the war's stunning violence, the depth of the prisoners' pain and the brutal demeanour in their deaths provoked outrage, and either the Lincoln and Davis administrations manipulated the felony controversy to serve the exigencies of struggle. As either side dispensed propaganda designed to persuade electorate of every component to the relative advantage in their personal felony system---in distinction to the harsh inhumanity of the opponent---they etched hardened and divisive thoughts of the legal controversy into the yank psyche, stories that may turn out tricky to uproot. In Haunted by means of Atrocity, Benjamin G. Cloyd deftly analyzes how americans have remembered the army prisons of the Civil warfare from the warfare itself to the current, creating a robust case for the ongoing significance of the good clash in modern the USA. all through Reconstruction and good into the 20 th century, Cloyd indicates, competing sectional stories of the prisons lengthy the method of nationwide reconciliation. occasions resembling the trial and execution of CSA Captain Henry Wirz---commander of the infamous Andersonville prison---along with political campaigns, the book of felony memoirs, or even the development of monuments to the criminal lifeless all revived the painful accusations of planned cruelty. As northerners, white southerners, and African american citizens contested the that means of the warfare, those divisive thoughts tore on the scars of the clash and ensured that the topic of Civil conflict prisons remained arguable. by means of the Nineteen Twenties, the dying of the Civil warfare new release got rid of a lot of the emotional connection to the conflict, and the devastation of the 1st international wars supplied new contexts during which to re-examine the that means of atrocity. accordingly, Cloyd explains, a extra aim opinion of Civil struggle prisons emerged---one that condemned either the Union and the Confederacy for his or her callous dealing with of captives whereas it deemed the mistreatment of prisoners an inevitable final result of contemporary conflict. yet, Cloyd argues, those seductive arguments additionally deflected a more in-depth exam of the best accountability for the tragedy of Civil struggle prisons and allowed american citizens to think in a comforting yet ahistorical reminiscence of the talk. either the recasting of the city of Andersonville as a Civil struggle village within the Seventies and the 1998 commencing of the nationwide Prisoner of battle Museum at Andersonville nationwide historical web site display the continuing American choice for delusion over history---a choice, Cloyd asserts, that inhibits a candid overview of the evils dedicated through the Civil conflict. the 1st learn of Civil struggle reminiscence to concentration solely at the army legal camps, Haunted by way of Atrocity deals a cautionary story of ways american citizens, for generations, have unconsciously built their memories of painful occasions in ways in which guard loved beliefs of delusion, that means, id, and, finally, a deeply rooted religion in American exceptionalism.
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Additional resources for Haunted by Atrocity
This lack of consensus on the issue of responsibility set the tone for the prison controversy—from the beginning, discussion of Civil War prisons took place in an environment of recrimination, confusion, and discord. As Union and Confederate citizens realized the implications of the prisoner accounts trickling out of the camps, this tragedy within a tragedy inflamed public opinion. The prolonged controversy over the establishment and collapse of the exchange cartel sparked greater resentment against the opposition as both sides complained about the poor treatment of their captured soldiers.
Not content with that insight, the committee continued by asserting that “in nearly all the prison stations of the North . . ”85 The final paragraphs of the committee’s report offered a defense of the Confederate prison system. ”86 J. B. Jones, a Confederate War Department clerk, confirmed these sentiments in his diary. ” The hypocritical Union then dared “to attribute to us the sufferings and privations caused by their own acts. ”88 The Confederate report, like its Union counterpart, qualifies as a propaganda masterpiece.
The toleration of such cruelty in the Confederacy naturally correlated to the inherently barbaric nature of the treasonous South. S. government found a perfect target in Wirz. He proved to be a malleable symbol of the Civil War prison controversy at a time when confusion abounded concerning what actually happened at Andersonville and other prison camps. In reality, Wirz was no mass murderer but simply an ineffective and callous officer placed in a position of authority in a Confederate prison system defined by those same characteristics.
Haunted by Atrocity by Benjamin G. Cloyd