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Portals to Hell
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The holding of prisoners of war has always been both a political and a military enterprise, yet the military prisons of the Civil War, which held more than four hundred thousand soldiers and caused the deaths of fifty-six thousand men, have been nearly forgotten. Now Lonnie R. Speer has brought to life the least-known men in the great struggle between the Union and the Confederacy, using their own words and observations as they endured a true "hell on earth." Drawing on scores of previously unpublished firsthand accounts, Portals to Hell presents the prisoners' experiences in great detail and from an impartial perspective. The first comprehensive study of all major prisons of both the North and the South, this chronicle analyzes the many complexities of the relationships among prisoners, guards, commandants, and government leaders. Lonnie R. Speer is a freelance writer with a special interest in the Civil War. His articles have appeared in Civil War Times Illustrated and America's Civil War.
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A look into the lives of POW's in the Civil War, analyzing the relationships between the prisoners, guards, commandants, and government leaders, as well as details of the deplorable conditions.

Promotional Information

A look into the lives of POW's in the Civil War, analyzing the relationships between the prisoners, guards, commandants, and government leaders, as well as details of the deplorable conditions.

About the Author

Lonnie R. Speer is a freelance writer with a special interest in the Civil War. His articles have appeared in Civil War Times Illustrated and America's Civil War.

Reviews

"An excellent work, a full and excellent treatment of Civil War prisons. Based on prodigious research in governmental records and manuscript collections, the book offers a judicious and balanced study of a controversial subject. Speer's writing is thorough, detailed, and unblinking. He spares neither side, offering solid evidence to support his critical assessments."--Civil War Times Illustrated "A telling indictment of how negligence led to mass death."--Booklist

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