Sunday, February 21, 2010

“Andersonville! Andersonville!”

Henry Wirz, a Swiss doctor from Louisiana, served as prison commandant during the last few months of the camp’s existence after its original commandant, Brigadier General John Winder, died in February 1865. For his efforts, such as they were, Wirtz was hanged in November 1865. His last fourteen minutes of life were spent at the end of a rope that was too short, listening to Union soldiers taunt him with cries of “Andersonville! Andersonville!” as he slowly choked to death. Remarkably, he was the only Confederate official to be executed for war crimes.

Edge of the West