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[180] war he was arrested, tried by a military commission on charges of ‘combining, confederating and conspiring . . . to injure the health and destroy the lives of soldiers in the military service of the United States, then held and being prisoners of war, and . . . murder in violation of the laws and customs of war.’ He was convicted and executed November 10, 1865. There has been little attempt to rehabilitate him in the eyes of the world. While many Southerners have felt that he suffered for conditions for which he was not responsible, comparatively little has been said in his defense; but Colonel Chandler, whose terrible arraignment of Andersonville was so potent a factor in crystallizing the sentiment in regard to that place, says that Wirz struggled against uncontrollable conditions.

Not long ago, a Federal soldier, once an inmate of the prison, reviewed the prison conditions at Andersonville, and came to practically the same conclusion. Another prisoner recently wrote: ‘I have always thought that Wirz was unfitted by nature and by natural ability for the command of as many men and of as important interests as was given to him during those sad months of 1864. He was a man of mercurial temperament, prone to anger, and prone to abuse. When things went well he was kind and good-natured; when they went ill he was the reverse. . . . He might have commanded a company well, and possibly a regiment, but thirty thousand men got away with him. He was at sea in their management.’

Other commandants and officers of prisons, including Major Thomas P. Turner of Richmond, Richard Turner of Libby, W. S. Winder and R. B. Winder of Andersonville, were imprisoned for a time after the war, but they were never brought to trial. Major Gee's acquittal has been mentioned.

Because of the early appointment of a United States commissary-general of prisoners, conditions in Northern prisons were more nearly uniform than those in the South. The railroad lines were never closed, and the Commissary and Quartermaster's departments were able at all times to furnish any

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