View single post by CleburneFan
 Posted: Tue Feb 6th, 2007 02:00 am
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Joined: Mon Oct 30th, 2006
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1021

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When reading about the Civil War one often reads that information was gleaned from enemy  captives, but I have never read exactly how that information was extracted from the POWs.  The intel was usually about troop strengths and troop movements, battle plans, etc, but was this vital information willingly volunteered?

Maybe I just haven't read the right book yet, but the ones I have read go into no detail at all about how freely POWs answered questions. The casual reader can easily get the idea that prisoners volunteered pretty much anything and that  was that, but it seems so benign to me, war being war and not at all pretty in its many aspects. This holds true for either side, Union or Confederate.

Do any of you know if mistreatment of POWS to discover important information was standard practice or even an occasional practice or was prisoner interrogation during the Civil War about as pleasant as an afternoon tea party? If brute force was used, why is it that such practice appears to be so seldom discussed?

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