On January 10, 1876 in the United States Senate, Georgia Senator Benjamin H. Hill replied to bloody-shirt waving James Blaine’s contention that Northern soldiers were tortured in Southern prisons.
Bernhard Thuersam, Circa1865
Blaine Keeps Waving the Bloody Shirt
“In 1876, eleven years after the South surrendered, Mr. James G. Blaine of Maine, stood up in Congress and poured out “a lot of hate-born lies as malignant as human tongue ever uttered or human brain ever concocted:”
“Mr. [Jefferson] Davis,” cried Mr. Blaine, “was the author, knowingly, deliberately, guiltily, and willfully, of the gigantic murders and crimes at Andersonville. And I here before God, measuring my words, knowing their full intent and import, declare that neither the deeds of the Duke of Alva in the Low Country, nor the massacre of St. Bartholomew, nor the thumb screws, and the other engines of torture of the Inquisition, begin to compare in atrocity with the hideous crimes of Andersonville.”
Mr. Hill’s reply: “If nine percent of the [Northern] men in Southern prisons were starved to death by Mr. Jefferson Davis, who tortured to death the twelve percent of the Southern men in Northern prisons?” (See Secretary Stanton’s statistics).
(Truths of History, Mildred Lewis Rutherford, Southern Lion Books, 1998, pp. 100)