Henry Wirz trial

Essay by r3nandst!mpyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2002

download word file, 1 pages 4.0

Wirz was captured by James H. Wilson, and was kept in Wilson's quarters until the trial date was set.

The trial of Henry Wirz took place on August 23, 1865. While on trial he was being tried for thirteen counts of murder, assault and battery, torture and other offences against the United States during the Civil War. Not only was Wirz the first person to be prosecuted for war crimes by the United States he was the only person from the Civil War.

Wirz had all the odds against him, the chief prosecutor was Judge Advocate Colonel N.P. Chipman. Chipman came prepared to take on Wirz, there were Ex-confederate soldiers and officers who testified against Wirz stating the cruelties that the prisoners endured because of Wirz's actions. The ex-confederates stated that Wirz was given complete authority over all of the Andersonville prison. Also that Henry Wirz could have easily made conditions better at Andersonville, but he did not and that is why Wirz is responsible for the pain and suffering that the union soldiers had to endure at their stay.

Other witnesses talked about the "deadline" that was placed away from the walls of the prison so that the prisoners could not try to climb the walls and escape. If prisoners did cross the "deadline" for any such reason, they would be shot.

At one point in the trial a man named Dr. Randolph Stevenson testify about the physical and mental effects of being at Andersonville.

The mental condition connected with long confinement, with the most miserable surroundings, and with no hope for the future, also depressed all the nervous and vital actions, and was especially active in destroying the appetite. The effects of mental depression, and of defected nutrition, were manifested into not only the slow, feeble motions...