Role Of Prisoners In The Civil War

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Prisoners of the Civil War went through an extremely tough time. The government didn’t think that the war would last long, which made them very unprepared and caused many deaths. The prisoners were mistreated by guards, starved to death, and were forced to live in terrible conditions. These reasons and many more cause over 56,000 deaths from prisons alone and caused almost 10% of all deaths in the Civil War. Food for prisoners in the Civil War was very scarce. Rations were so low that even the tough prisoners would lay in their tent at night and cry (Davis 174). Most of the prisoners would sit around all day talking and thinking about their next meal (Davis 173). The lack of rations caused the prisoners to eat any piece of meat they could.…show more content…
The water that the prisons used came from the save lakes and rivers that the prison dumbed their waste into. All the prisoners drinking water came from polluted wells. The wells were filled with human waste and cause sickness to spread quickly and easily (Davis 174) The food was also a major contributor to the sickness. Most of the meat prisoners received came spoiled and fly/worm infested. The bread was moldy and full of maggots (Davis 173). The prisoners’ ration’s mainly contained of soft bread and spoiled bacon (Davis 171). These factors caused many people to get food poisoning or get sick. Not only was the prisoner’s food terrible but they were also treated more like animals then humans. The guards and the government both treated the prisoners very poorly. The guards often tried to treat the prisoners the worst they could. Escapees would be cruelly hunted to no end. The guards brought vicious dogs that were trained to tear prisoners apart and eat them alive (Davis…show more content…
One time a flood left a stagnant pool in the compound and the water was from the same lake they dumped their sewage into. The whole prison was forced to live in the polluted water for weeks (Davis 121). Everything in the prisons was infested and very low quality. Most prisons were filthy and unsanitary and riddled with vermin. Every mattress and dark place was inhabited by bed bugs and fleas. Fleas would crawl over the ground from body to body at night (Davis 173). Since there were never enough prisons to hold all the prisoners the state forced people wherever there was room. Prisoners would often be forced to live in tent grounds or old out of business tobacco ware houses (Davis 177). The state also didn’t fund or build any prisons for prisoners of war when the Civil War first started because the government didn’t think the war would last. Since they had no prisons in the beginning of the war they had to set prisoners free to solve for the lack of space. Before they set the prisoners free they tried to recruit the prisoners to their side of the war (Davis

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