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Hardcover Portals to Hell Book

ISBN: 0811703347

ISBN13: 9780811703345

Portals to Hell

Presents a modern account of all Civil War military prisons. This title includes escapes, women and black prisoners, exchange programs, games, food, vermin, illness, and death.


Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Great account of civil war prisons

I read this book several years ago. Having been an armchair historian and loving all history, the issue of civil war prisons did not promote any passion for me until I read this book. Living in the St. Louis metro area I never realized the civil war prison history aside from the civil war history that was so prevalent in Illinois and St. Louis. I have since visited all the sites within a day journey or two of where I live with a new found respect. I also had a chance to visit Andersonville on a family vacation. My family may not have been as impressed with the site as I was, however after reading this book and standing on the grounds were so much suffering and horror occurred, I was moved to tears.

"THE" book on Civil War Prisons.

Factually, this book hits the mark. The author is able to describe events so the reader can form a mental picture of what conditions in a civil war prison must have been like. It is apparent that the author has done his homework and researched his material. The ultimate compliment is in "who" published this excellent work. If anyone knows the scrutiny that Stackpole Publishing and Will Davis places on a work such as this, then one must realize that the information contained within is based on factual material that is easily verified. A must for any Civil War buff.

Excellent history.

Americans are pleased to think of our Civil War ancestors as gallant, chivalrous warriors, magnanimous to those defeated in battle. The sorry record of the treatment of prisoners, North and South, calls for a more somber perspective. Yes, traditional American unpreparedness and incompetence were more operant than malevolence. Yes, inadequate distribution systems and supply shortages caused much misery. And yes, infectious diseases, poorly understood at the time, took a heavy toll on every stratum of society, even reaching into the White House. But those circumstances don't account for the 56,000 men, mostly young, who died in captivity. The sad fact is that many were starved, neglected, and abused to death. How, where, and why are explained in this well researched and skillfully written work, tracing the actual operations of POW camps on both sides. Drawing on official documents, newspapers, letters, diaries, and manuscripts, Speer has constructed a highly readable, comprehensive history of this little-known subject, which will be of enduring value to libraries, military history collections, and Civil War students, and should serve as a corrective to those inclined to take an overly romantic view of the War. (The "score" rating is an unfortunately ineradicable feature of the page. This reviewer does not "score" books.)

This is the best book on the topic of prisons

This is a very accurate account of the way it was in civil war prisons.My great grandfather was in Camp Ford and I have written his story.

Was your ancestor a Civil War prisoner? Then read this book

A well written and well organized study of Civil War prisons, North and South. The layman will enjoy the ease of prose and scholars will appreciate the authors meticulous documentation. A major strength of the book comes from the many firsthand accounts from prisoners and keepers. It is a good read from cover to cover plus the organization allows easy reference to specific prisons and time periods. It contains 32 pages of excellent pictures of the camps and men.
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