Captives in Blue: The Civil War Prisons of the Confederacy. By Roger Pickenpaugh. (2013. Pp. 320. $49.95. Hardcover. Lexington: University of Alabama Press. Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0380. http://www.uapress.ua.edu/) ISBN: 978-0817317836.
A follow-up to Pickenpaugh’s earlier publication, Captives in Gray: The Civil War Prisons of the Union (2008), this book uses soldier diaries, newspaper accounts, and military records to tell the story of Confederate prisoner-of-war policies, prison conditions, and the experiences of individual prisoners.
Moving chronologically, Pickenpaugh starts in Richmond, Virginia, as prisoners-of-war were transported to the Confederate capital after the first battles of the Civil War, and then discusses the efforts to establish other prison locations, as the city was not equipped to handle the influx. A chapter each is devoted to Libby Prison, Belle Isle, and Danville, with two chapters discussing Andersonville prison. Pickenpaugh also provides a chapter on Confederate policies towards captured African American soldiers. Citations include extensive end-notes and a bibliography of manuscript, newspaper, and secondary sources used.
While the book does not provide lists of individuals residing in each camp, it does highlight the conditions of prisoners and occasionally large movements of prisoners from one camp to another. If you have an ancestor who spent time as a Confederate prisoner-of-war, Captives in Blue can provide the details to create a picture of his experience.
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