Saturday, December 14, 2013

Quote by James W. King-Commander of Camp 141 Sons of Confederate Albany Georgia.

TO: Compatriots ON SHNV FORUM

"The trial of Andersonville POW Camp Commander Capt. Henry Wirz was a travesty of American justice and a complete farce in which the outcome of being found guilty was predetermined. This trial remains a dark chapter in the American justice system and especially highlights immoral and unethical proceedings and conduct by military courts of this time period. It places the names of the members of the military court in the "Infamous" category and their names are forever stained in the perspective of all Americans who truly understand and care about this gross miscarriage of justice and the willful execution of an innocent man. The key witnesses for the prosecution committed perjury and the star witness was a deserter from a New York regiment who had never been at Andersonville. He presented himself as a grandnephew of Lafayette under the assumed name of Felix de la Baume and blatantly lied vividly describing  atrocities committed by Wirz but the victims were always "name unknown". The vast majority of witnesses for the defense were barred from testifying. These witnesses included former Union prisoners who had been at Andersonville and included James Madison Page, a Michigan cavalryman, who later wrote a book completely exonerating Wirz and placing the blame for Andersonville hardships and death squarely upon the Lincoln Administration and especially Sec. of War Stanton and Gen. Grant. Capt. Wirz was a scapegoat for misinformed Northerners who demanded revenge for what they wrongly believed were intentional acts of starvation and murder of Union POW's. The death rate of POW's at Andersonville was approximately 25% whereas the death rate of Confederate POW's at Elmira New York was about 44% and intentional. The Elmira commander bragged that he had killed more Confederates than any soldier on the front lines. Camp Douglas at Chicago was another "Death Camp" in which Confederate POW's were deliberately starved, frozen, tortured, and murdered as accurately portrayed by the recent History Channel presentation "80 Acres of Hell".  The Union commander's of these camps were never tried for war crimes. It is my opinion that they should be tried posthumously and their dastardly deeds made known to Americans. Furthermore the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives passed Joint Resolution SR97 stating the intent to deliberately cause the death of Confederate POW's by starvation, exposure to inclement weather, and disease. After the execution of Capt. Wirz the barbarian Yankees cut up his body parts and exhibited them at various places in the North and charged a viewing fee. It took Wirz's attorney four years to get enough body parts returned so that a Christian burial could be conducted for  this unfortunate Southern martyr who was offered his life if he would implicate Confederate President Jefferson Davis in the plot to assassinate Union President Abraham Lincoln. In a final act of honor Wirz refused to lie and implicate an innocent man. Had Wirz been a dishonorable man he could have saved his life and avoided the gallows".

James W. King-- Commander SCV Camp 141 Lt. Col. Thomas M. Nelson Albany Georgia


In the past 400 years in English and American history there are 3 trials that stand out as absolute farces and travesties and they remain a dark blot on the English and American Judicial systems. They are the trial of King Charles I of England who was tried, convicted, and beheaded by Oliver Cromwell following the English Civil War of 1642-1649, the Trial of Confederate Captain Henry Wirz commander of the Confederate Prisoner of War Camp at Andersonville Georgia and his conviction and hanging for war crimes by a U.S. Military Tribunal following the American Civil War (War for Southern Independence) of 1861-1865. The third farce trial of equal proportion was that of Mrs. Mary Surrat who was falsely accused, convicted, and hanged for conspiracy by a U.S. Military Tribunal following the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln shortly after the close of the Civil War.
The pettiness, dishonesty, and unmanliness of U.S. Judge Advocate Col. N.P.Chipman in later years is reflected in his statements made from his post-war home in California. He presided over the trial and never apologized for the discovery soon after the trial that the key witness Felix de la Baume was actually Felix Oesser a New York 7th Regiment deserter who had never been at Andersonville and had also claimed to be born in France and claimed to be a grand nephew of Marquis de Lafayette but was actually a German. In all his later post-war statements Chipman skirted the facts and truths concerning conditions at Andersonville and continued to place blame upon the Confederate States of America rather than on U.S. Secretary of War Stanton, U.S. General Grant, and U.S. President Abraham Lincoln who were in fact to blame for the high death rate. Chipman was never manly and honest enough to admit that the trial was a farce and apologize. His name and those of 6 U.S. Generals and 2 U.S. Colonels who were on the U.S. Military Commission continue to be remembered in infamy.
Lincoln is the only leader in world history known to have declared medical supplies as contraband during a war. Even in World War II Germany, Japan, and America did not declare medical supplies contraband. Much of the problem with inadequate food at Andersonville was due to a lack of pots, pans, bowls etc. with which to distribute food to the thousands of prisoners. Lincoln also declared such items contraband. Northern citizens who tried to take supplies to family members that were POW's at Andersonville were welcomed by Confederate authorities but were arrested by fellow Northern Military personnel or Police and were not allowed to take medical supplies or clothing to their loved ones at Andersonville.  The Union POW's knew who was to blame and they "Damned" Stanton repeatedly.
Confederate officer Col. Ould who was in charge of arranging exchanges pleaded with Northern Authorities and told them in no uncertain terms that "We cannot feed or take care of the prisoners--no exchange is necessary-just come get them". When Northern authorities declined Col. Ould replied to them "Are You People Monsters". The North had refused to send doctors and medicine to treat their own people, they had refused to exchange prisoners, they had refused to accept them back with no exchange required, and finally when the Confederate officials offered to pay the North in cotton and gold to "just come get them" they refused.  The disaster at Andersonville rests squarely on the backs of Stanton, Grant, and Lincoln and not Confederate authorities and officers. But the victor of a war writes the history and dishonest Northern historians continue to lie and refuse to tell the true facts concerning Andersonville and Capt. Henry Wirz. But Truth no matter how deeply buried always finds a way to surface and the true facts concerning Andersonville are slowly becoming known.
But the degree of depravity and barbarian behavior of the Yankees who convicted and hung an innocent man following a farce trial is borne out by the fact that they cut up his body into parts and displayed them at locations in the North. Great credit, appreciation, and thanks are due to Wirz's attorney Louis Frederick Slade for his defense of Capt. Wirz during the trial and in the 4 years that followed in which he worked to get body parts returned so that Wirz could be given a Christian burial.

James W. King---Albany Georgia-- SCV Camp Commander

Wirz Memorial Service--Andersonville POW Camp--South Wrongly Blamed For Andersonville by James Gaston.

On Sunday afternoon, November 10, memorial services honoring Capt. Henry Wirz will be held in Andersonville, Georgia, the site of one of the saddest stories of the American War Between the States.  Hanged as a scapegoat shortly following the War, Captain Wirz has a tall obelisk monument dedicated to his memory in downtown Andersonville, and natives of the region who know well the truths behind the years of revisionist history hold services in his memory each fall.
The story of Andersonville is well known, often having been told by Hollywood, writers, and historians.  The true story of Andersonville is not as well known.   Established as the location of a prisoner of war camp by the Confederacy during the War for Southern Independence because of its remote location from the front of the War and because of the location of the rail depot for transport, Camp Sumter at Andersonville was one of the primary POW camps in the South during the War. 
Of the 45,000 Union prisoners held at Andersonville during the War, more than 12,000 perished, mainly from malnutrition and dysentery.  The nearly 28 percent mortality rate among the prisoners is a sad fact of the War but is also one that is often grossly over reported, particularly in light of the fact that at the same Camp, 226 of the roughly 1,000 Confederate guards also died from the same conditions.  Approximately the same number of Confederate guards and Union prisoners died at Andersonville because of the blockade that the Union had enforced upon the South, along with the scorched earth policy practiced by Sherman as he marched through Georgia and the Carolinas.  Food and medical supplies were simply not to be had at that late date during the War.
To his credit, Captain Wirz attempted to alleviate the suffering of the Union prisoners by paroling five Union officers and sending them to the Union lines to offer the prisoners at Andersonville as an exchange for Confederate prisoners.  In spite of the fact that the Union soldiers reported the scarcity of food and medicine available to the Confederates in Andersonville, their pleas fell on deaf ears with Union leadership.  Union General Ulysses S. Grant had enacted a nationwide ban on prisoner exchanges; even when Captain Wirz offered to release the prisoners without exchange if the Union provided for their transport, Union leaders refused the request.
Following the War, Captain Wirz was blamed for the malnutrition and lack of medical service provided to the prisoners in Andersonville.  His efforts to alleviate their suffering went unheard; and on November 10, 1865 at 10:32 a.m., Henry Wirz was hanged in Washington, D.C.

For the last 150 years, both Captain Wirz and the South have been blamed for the death of the prisoners who fell at Andersonville; but little has been said of his efforts to save them or of the same percentages of Confederate guards who died at the Camp.  Still less is reported of the atrocities which occurred against Confederate POW's in Union prison camps such as Elmira Prison, New York where 25 percent of the prisoners died, or Camp Douglas, Illinois where more than 25 percent of the Confederate prisoners died as compared to less than five percent of the guards stationed there throughout the War.  (posted by James W. King with permission by James Gaston)

James Gaston, Chairman

Capt. Wirz Memorial Committee
Alex. H. Stephens Camp, SCV
Americus, GA