The Rebel POW experience

After a number of Rebel POW camp studies (Fort Delaware, Chicago, Elmira) it was a matter of time before someone attempted to synthesize the Rebel POW experience in a single volume: So far From Dixie: Confederates in Yankee Prisons.

I have an analytical bias and would therefore have expected a nice, meaty study; there is so much material here awaiting its historian. Discover War Department POW policies and document them. Delineate the commonalities. Compare and contrast Union prisons; offset against Confederate prisons where relevant. Policies. Needs. People.

But then, I forgot. We are dealing with Civil War authors and Civil War audiences. So the aggregated Rebel POW study comes in the form of a storybook. Lots of individual tales selected on the strength of anecdotes, arranged for literary effect.

That's what I'm getting from this review. If I'm wrong, I'll amend this entry.