Prisoner interrogatiions


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major bill

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#42
This thread is drifting a long ways from "Prisoner interrogations" I am sure both sides could post pages of Civil War era atrocities, but I thought we were discussing "Prisoner interrogations". Ending prisoner exchange would seem to have very little to do with how each side questioned prisoners to obtain information.
 

major bill

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#43
Although some POWs were roughed up or even killed, I still do not see why Prisoner interrogations would often include torture. A few couriers might have useful information they could give, however most men and officers could not have given much vital information and not have been able to provide very much useful information.

Neither side had the intelligence structure or personnel able to gather intelligence or analyze it. At best, a bit of information might be gathered. How useful this information might be is open to discussion. To be useful information needs to be processed into intelligence. Very few POWs would have had information that would be that helpful.
 
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#46
Although some POWs were roughed up or even killed, I still do not see why Prisoner interrogations would often include torture. A few couriers might have useful information they could give, however most men and officers could not have given much vital information and not have been able to provide very much useful information.

Neither side had the intelligence structure or personnel able to gather intelligence or analyze it. At best, a bit of information might be gathered. How useful this information might be is open to discussion. To be useful information needs to be processed into intelligence. Very few POWs would have had information that would be that helpful.
We have some threads on the Bureau of Military Intelligence that General Hooker first implemented when he became the commander of the AoP. General Hooker implemented the B M I on the suggestion of one or two staff officers who's names are in the aforementioned threads.
I agree that so far no evidence has been presented that torture was used on conventional meaning regular uniformed troops by either side.
Leftyhunter
 
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#49
In reading about prisoner interrogations during the war, it seems quite a few talked very willingly. What were the methods used and did either side ever use torture ? I've never read much on the subject.
I have never read of regular troops being coerced in any way. However, federal scouts in the Vicksburg Campaign used threat of execution against civilians suspected of scouting for the Confederates (called “showing the gun” as an interrogation technique).
 

67th Tigers

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#52
When PW's were taken, they were handed to the provost of the capturing division, and were interviewed as per orders:

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 72
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
Washington, February 26, 1862.

All deserters from the enemy, prisoners, and other persons coming within our lines will be taken at once to the provost-marshal of the nearest division, who will examine them in presence of the division commander, or an officer of his staff designated for the purpose. This examination will only refer to such information as may affect the division and those near it, especially those remote from general headquarters.

As soon as this examination is completed--and it must be made as rapidly as possible---the person will be sent, under proper guard, to the provost-marshal-general, with a statement of his replies to the questions asked. Upon receiving him the provost-marshal-general will at once send him, with his statement, to the chief of staff of the Army of the Potomac, who will cause the necessary examination to be made. The provost-marshal-general will have the custody of all such persons. Division commanders will at once communicate to other division commanders all information thus obtained which affects them.

By command of Major-General McClellan:
S. WILLIAMS,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

Intelligence gathering was the province of the cavalry, and the provost-marshal. In McClellan's army this was BG Andrew Porter, who ran an efficient and fairly accurate int cell albeit with one bad apple - John C. Babcock. In September '62 Lincoln ordered Porter to Pennsylvania and McClellan fought the Maryland Campaign without parts of his intelligence staff. McClellan appointed BG Massena Patrick as P-M on 6th October '62, and he remained in post for the whole war.

John C. Babcock was the only member of McClellan's int to continue into Burnside's era, and he remained in post the whole war. This was unfortunate, as Babcock was the man generating overestimates of enemy strength. His orbat charts contained 36 infantry regiments that weren't with the enemy army as of June '62, and 46 by October '62. When estimating enemy strength, by mid-1862 two primary sources were in use:

1. Babcock's orbat charts
2. Numbers of rations issued (128,000, excluding Jackson on 21st June '62 for example, but only 59,000 by May '63)

The orbat charts were compiled from prisoner interviews. Prisoners were ask what regiment they were in, who their brigadier and major general was, and for any other details. Babcock's charts were very accurate, apart from 36+ infantry regiments reported present who had no known generals over them. The change Sharpe made was that he decided to keep these "maybes" out of the general estimate.
 
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#53
Toward the end of the war, during the siege of Petersburg and the chase, deserters were crossing daily, and making report to the Federal command. When pickets and front line skirmishers were brought in, they were questioned individually, chosen by rank or intelligence, and the information cross-referenced. They would then be sent to the rear under guard. I never heard of any mistreatment during this process. Afterward maybe in the guardhouse, neglect and rash handling could occur, and most likely did but this would be beyond the eyes of higher command; personal vendettas fulfilled; but that would be the caliber of the guard, not the procedure.
Lubliner.
 

Borderruffian

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#54
All wars use torture. For example Union soldiers per T.J. Stiles in his book " Jesse James last Rebel of the Civil War" cites Jesse James stepfather being hung by the neck and the released just before he died to find the whereabouts of Confederate insurgents.
I will send you a link to Confederate Home Guards in North Carolina who tortured women to find the whereabouts abouts of Confederate Conscription dodgers.
Torture is going to be common during counterinsurgency and plenty of that in both sides in the ACW.
Conventional soldiers on both sides knew from exchanged soldiers that prison camps on both sides were nasty places so it might be advantageous to get special treatment by giving information to the enemy.
Leftyhunter
15 year old Jesse was beaten severely by the same MSM while they were hanging his step father to the point of lasting mental incapacity , both were civilians who had not taken arms......as of yet, Jesse Woodson James would shortly and violently.
 
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#55
15 year old Jesse was beaten severely by the same MSM while they were hanging his step father to the point of lasting mental incapacity , both were civilians who had not taken arms......as of yet, Jesse Woodson James would shortly and violently.
Like I stated earlier counterinsurgency ain't nothing nice. Has you know in the Shelton Laura Massacre the Confederate North Carolina Home Guards shot captured teen age boys and tortured women.
So far no evidence has been presented that either the Union or Confederate Army tortured regular enlisted uniformed soldiers.
If either side captured someone out of uniform it's a whole different ball game.
Leftyhunter
 
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Borderruffian

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#56
Like I stated earlier counterinsurgency ain't nothing nice. Has you know in the Shelton Laura Massacre the Confederate North Carolina Home Guards shot captured teen age boys and tortured women.
So far no evidence has been presented that either the Union or Confederate Army tortured regular enlisted uniformed soldiers.
If either side captured someone out of uniform it's a whole different ball game.
Leftyhunter
Andersonville
Old Capitol
Elmyira
Point LookOut
Gratiot
Alton
Libby
Camp Chase
Camp Douglas.....................................................................................................................................etc
 
#57
Andersonville
Old Capitol
Elmyira
Point LookOut
Gratiot
Alton
Libby
Camp Chase
Camp Douglas.....................................................................................................................................etc
Not to speak for @leftyhunter , but I believe that he meant they were not tortured in the context of this thread's topic.
 
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#58
Andersonville
Old Capitol
Elmyira
Point LookOut
Gratiot
Alton
Libby
Camp Chase
Camp Douglas.....................................................................................................................................etc
As @Copperhead-mi stated this thread is about as @Rebelsoul who is the OP has stated earlier in the thread about the interrogation of conventional enlisted soldiers on either side.
I have a thread about the moral clarity of Civil War counterinsurgency on both sides and we have a few threads on Pow Camps on both sides.
So far no poster has yet shown that conventional soldiers on either side were tortured.
Leftyhunter
 

CSA Today

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#59
Like I stated earlier counterinsurgency ain't nothing nice. Has you know in the Shelton Laura Massacre the Confederate North Carolina Home Guards shot captured teen age boys and tortured women.
So far no evidence has been presented that either the Union or Confederate Army tortured regular enlisted uniformed soldiers.
If either side captured someone out of uniform it's a whole different ball game.
Leftyhunter
A North Carolina militia group had operated a short earlier against Captain Dave Fry, a unionist partisan from neighboring Greene County, Tennessee who had been raiding and plundering in Madison County, but it was Lt. Col. James A. Keith though sick at the time was who was in command of Companies B, D. and H (all three mountain companies) of the 64th NC infantry that was responsible for the killings. It was the unionists' bad fortune that they had raided and plundered Marshall, the county seat of Madison County including Lt. Col. Keith's home with his wife and sick children inside. Then too, it didn't help that Company D was from Madison County and Company H was from neighboring Greene County, Tennessee.
 
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#60
A North Carolina militia group had operated a short earlier against Captain Dave Fry, a unionist partisan from neighboring Greene County, Tennessee who had been raiding and plundering in Madison County, but it was Lt. Col. James A. Keith though sick at the time was who was in command of Companies B, D. and H (all three mountain companies) of the 64th NC infantry that was responsible for the killings. It was the unionists' bad fortune that they had raided and plundered Marshall, the county seat of Madison County including Lt. Col. Keith's home with his wife and sick children inside. Then too, it didn't help that Company D was from Madison County and Company H was from neighboring Greene County, Tennessee.
You neglected to add that Confederate Militia also had previously attacked Unionists in East Tennessee. Guerrilla warfare has lots of tit for tat revenge.
Leftyhunter
 



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