(1822 - 1865). Swiss-born, Wirz studied at universities in Zurich, Paris, and Berlin, married, and was widowed, before emigrating to the U.S. Enlisted in the Confederate Army (Louisiana Volunteers, Company "A", 4th Battalion). Wounded at the 1862 battle of Seven Pines (or Fair Oaks), he was relegated to clerical and diplomatic duties, where he eventually rose to the rank of Captain under General John Henry Winder. His last post was as Commandant of the Confederate military prison at Andersonville, GA. In 1864, he remarried, to a widow. Cpt. Wirz was the only Civil War soldier executed for war crimes.

Depending who you ask, Wirz was a either a true Confederate martyr, or a foreshadow of the atrocities of the Nazi Dr. Mengele. Of him, Walt Whitman wrote, "There are deeds, crimes that may be forgiven but this is not among them. It steeps its perpetrators in blackest, escapless, endless damnation." Like Whitman's rhetoric, Wirz's trial was long on emotion and uncorroborated testimony, and short on harder evidence - telegraph correspondence, etc.
(see http://www.civilwarhistory.com/_Uncataloged/Andersonville/The%20Trial%20of%20Major%20Henry%20Wirz.htm).

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