赵秉钧‘Ere he return,’ said Marcian, ‘things of moment may happen.’Till then, and ever,but a low cry of fear. Then guards rushed up and seized me.I had myself a part in a very small division of this election, a division which could have no effect in the final gathering of the votes, but which was in a way typical of the spirit of the army. On the 6th of November, 1864, I was in Libby Prison, having been captured at the battle of Cedar Creek in October. It was decided to hold a Presidential election in the prison, although some of us were rather doubtful as to the policy and anxious in regard to the result. The exchange of prisoners had been blocked for nearly a year on the ground of the refusal on the part of the South to exchange the coloured troops or white officers who held commissions in coloured regiments. Lincoln took the ground, very properly, that all of the nation's soldiers must be treated alike and must be protected by a uniform policy. Until the coloured troops should be included in the exchange, "there can," said Lincoln, "be no exchanging of prisoners." This decision, while sound, just, and necessary, brought, naturally, a good deal of dissatisfaction to the men in prison and to their friends at home. When I reached Libby in October, I found there men who had been prisoners for six or seven months and who (as far as they lived to get out) were to be prisoners for five months more. Through the winter of 1864-65, the illness and mortality in the Virginia prisons of Libby and Danville were very severe. It was in fact a stupid barbarity on the part of the Confederate authorities to keep any prisoners in Richmond during that last winter of the War. It was not easy to secure by the two lines of road (one of which was continually being cut by our troops) sufficient supplies for Lee's army. It was difficult to bring from the granaries farther south, in addition to the supplies required for the army, food for the inhabitants of the town. It was inevitable under the circumstances that the prisoners should be neglected and that in addition to the deaths from cold (the blankets, the overcoats, and the shoes had been taken from the prisoners because they were needed by the rebel troops) there should be further deaths from starvation.赵秉钧
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