1. Why do armies take prisoners? Couldn't they find other ways of handling the situation? What might be costs of some of these methods?
Answers will vary. Students may mention execution instead of needing to feed and care for prisoners. Although, executing opposing prisoners might mean the same for you own captives!
2. Jefferson Davis complains about the suspension of the exchange of prisoners between the Union and Confederacy. why would Davis want to exchange prisoners, given the anger on both sides towards the opposition? (What was happening at this time both in the South and within the army that made keeping Union prisoners difficult and made Davis want the other captured Confederates to be freed?)
Davis needed more soldiers. He needed the exchange in order to refill his ranks in order to continue the War. The Confederacy was lacking resources: money, men, food, clothing, and armaments. They could barely afford to feed the men they had and relied on the people of the communities and towns to supply all of the above for their soldiers in the field. They could not afford to feed prisoners as well. They needed this exchange of prisoners.
2. Do you agree with the consequences that the Raiders faced? Why?
Answers will vary, but students will likely note that instinct to survive is so strong that it trumps loyalties, even strong ones, like nationalism and patriotism. However, students may also point to stealing as an ultimate wrong - or even worse - being a traitor.