From Colonial Encounters to the Iraq War: Prisoners of War and Their Place in History
Co-Conveners: Lorien Foote (Texas A&M) and Daniel Krebs (Univ. of Louisville)
October 27-28, 2017
The Filson Historical Society offered a two-day conference in October 2017 that explored the experience of prisoners of war (POWs) in all American conflicts since the colonial period. Too often POWs have been considered by historians to be a special, separate topic. If discussed at all, POWs make only a brief appearance in legal histories or in the history of POW policies or histories of POW camps. They show up as sums in casualty lists or are discussed as a burden on military resources, creating more mouths to feed, house and guard. This conference considers prisoners of war as more than simply casualties, losers or victims by examining the range of ways in which POWs played an active role in the conduct and outcome of America’s military encounters. Conference expenses were underwritten by the C. E. & S. Foundation.