The Horrors of Andersonville: Life and Death Inside a Civil War Prison

By Catherine Gourley

The accomplice criminal often called Andersonville existed for less than the final fourteen months of the Civil battle - yet its well-documented legacy of horror has lived on within the diaries of its prisoners and the transcripts of the trial of its commandant.

The diaries describe appalling stipulations during which vermin-infested males have been crowded into an open stockade with a unmarried befouled circulation as their water resource. nutrients was once scarce and clinical provides almost nonexistent. The our bodies of these who didn't continue to exist the evening needed to be cleared away every one morning.

Designed to accommodate 10,000 Yankee prisoners, Andersonville held 32,000 in the course of August 1864. approximately a 3rd of the 45,000 prisoners who gone through the camp perished. publicity, hunger, and affliction have been the most motives, yet excessively harsh penal practices or even violence between themselves contributed to the extraordinary demise expense. on the finish of the conflict, outraged Northerners demanded retribution for such travesties, and they...

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The Fiend · 143 Chapter 9 evidence and fabrications Wirz places in a plea, if actual, will protect him from the punishment he so dreads. He asserts that the anguish of our prisoners was once no longer inflicted by way of him—that they have been unavoidable, that the insurgent govt couldn't provide them extra meals, or larger protect, or extra kindly remedy than it did. this is often simply what the current trial is to check. “Wirz and the Union Prisoners,” ny occasions, August 31, 1865 O n Monday, August 21, 1865, within the court docket of Claims room within the U. S. Capitol in Washington, D. C. , Henry Wirz confronted his accusers. The courtroom integrated 3 generals, 3 brigadier generals, and 3 lieutenant colonels. All had commanded on Union battlefields. On that morning, every one used to be in “dress uniform and glowing brass. ” whilst Wirz entered the court docket surrounded via 8 guards, every body grew to become to stare. for lots of, this used to be the 1st time they'd noticeable the prisoner. Overseeing the army tribunal used to be significant basic Lew Wallace. Wallace dreaded staying in Washington throughout the scorching summer time months. The nation’s capital, mendacity at the banks of the Potomac River, used to be a infamous breeding floor for mosquitoes. prior that summer time, Wallace had served at the fee that attempted the folk curious about the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. His adventure with that trial, in addition to his figuring out of legislation, doubtless used to be the explanation he have been appointed to preside over the Wirz fee. He pointed out his appointment as one hundred forty four · The Horrors of Andersonville “this arduous [burdensome] accountability. ” He might have a lot most well liked to be at domestic together with his spouse, revising the ebook he used to be writing on army strategies. In a letter, Wallace defined his first effect of the jailer of Andersonville. “Wirz is a novel [unique] having a look genius. He has a small head, backing out brow . . . the hair, gentle in colour, is particularly skinny . . . well-liked ears, small, sharp pointed nostril, moustache and beard heavy sufficient to hide the mouth and reduce face, and of the soiled tobacco-stained colour, eyes huge, and of combined blue and grey, very stressed and reminding you consistently of a cat’s whilst the animal is worked up by way of the smell of prey. ” A. J. Riddle photographed Henry Wirz (above) in the course of his August 1864 stopover at to Andersonville. the costs have been learn. the 1st cost said that Wirz had “maliciously [with evil intent], willfully, and traitorously” conspired “to injure the wellbeing and fitness and smash the lives of squaddies within the army provider of the U.S.. ” the second one cost integrated 13 counts of homicide. each one homicide specification supplied not just the date of the homicide but additionally the way within which the homicide were perpetrated—beatings and gunshots, for instance. The requisites didn't checklist the names of the 13 sufferers, notwithstanding. In every one example, the sufferer was once pointed out via the word a prisoner of struggle, whose identify is unknown. The courtroom known as for the defendant (the individual on trial, Wirz) to plead to the fees. Wirz’s lawyer, Louis Schade, performed his first card of security.

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