PoP's<br><b> War Crimes Against Southern Soldiers & Civilians</b>: Letter from the Front.


Letter from the Front.

We are permitted to publish the following extracts from a letter received in our city yesterday from Serg’t. J. H. Neibling of Marshall’s Battery, dated Altoona, May 22d:

I think I have rested enough, and will attempt to let you know how and what we are doing. We are about a mile from Altoona, in camp, where we arrived yesterday. Everything seems quiet again, but I cannot tell how long it will last. Jackson’s Brigade is on picket. They report that they have not heard or seen a Yankee for the last three days. I think they have taken the hint, and gone back. I am of the opinion that as soon as we get rested we will start after them. We have lost all the best part of the State for raising crops. I never saw such a beautiful country in all my life. The corn and wheat growing is abundance everywhere, and now all is in the hands of the enemy; and if we should succeed in driving them off again, they will surely destroy everything as they go.

We witnessed many pitiable sights in our retrograde movements. Woman [sic], children and old men were tottering along the roads in advance of our army, all having left their homes and every thing they possessed in the hands of the enemy. Every town or village we would come to we would form a line of battle to hold the enemy in check, until the people who wished to leave could do so. One night while on the march we overtook a beautiful young lady with a child only nine months old on her arm. She had been carrying the baby for some time, and was nearly exhausted from fatigue. I took the child before me on my horse and took care of it all that night and next day, while the mother rode upon the guns; and all along the road could be seen soldiers carrying the babes and childrens [sic] of the poor unfortunate and distressed people.

Who could wish or want to be out of the army, after witnessing such scenes? I am as tired of the war as any one in the world, but willingly will I remain where I am, and stake my life for freedom and independence. I have often thought that I was not gaining anything by being in the army; but I never will think so again, for I am now satisfied that it is my duty to be where I am. Our troops are in the greatest spirits I ever saw a body of men in my life. We have been greatly outnumbered by the enemy, but we have whipped and repulsed every charge they have made on our lines. We have had thirteen killed and wounded in my company. Our first Lieutenant had his horse shot from under him. I will probably write again to-morrow.”
PoP Aaron
The Southern American


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In 1866, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton reported that according to the Commisary General of Prisoners,
over 26,000 Confederate POWs died in prisons and hospitals.