Andersonville’s Commandant Wirz – The Only Person Hung For War Crimes
Andersonville has acquired the famed reputation of being the most notoriously diabolical prisoner-of-war camp of the Civil War. POW camps in the North were just as terrible if not worse, but once the war was over, Commandant Henry Wirz received the brunt of the blame, and was the only person executed for war crimes. Following a farcical trial, he was hung on November 10, 1865 after he refused to condemn Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
Captain Wirz became a scapegoat, along with some of the “conspirators” involved in Lincoln’s assassination. Although Wirz proclaimed his innocence, he was found guilty, and as he was led to the gallows, he was forced to endure ridicule while the crowd chanted “Remember Andersonville.” Following his death, Wirz’ body was dissected, and pieces were exhibited around the country. Four years later, his attorney managed to collect enough body parts to conduct a Christian burial.