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 Posted: Wed Dec 20th, 2006 10:32 pm
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Widow
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Joined: Tue Sep 19th, 2006
Location: Oakton, Fairfax County, VA
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Hi, R.O. Rhodes, welcome to the board.

Yes, Wirz was tried and found guilty.  But the trial was rigged, his defense lawyers were stymied at every turn.  He was quite ill and had to lie on a couch in the courtroom.

Stanton, the Secretary of War, was a vindictive man.  He had the power and the public support to make sure somebody paid, and Wirz was the obvious choice.

Even though Wirz got no support from Gen. Winder, maybe he could have come up with some improvements, especially the water supply.  Just redirecting the flow of the creek, with prisoners doing the work, might have helped.  Also, upstream of the stockade, the creek was the soldiers' latrine and horse corral.  Could Wirz have relocated them?  Or diverted part of the creek to his soldiers' camp and let the rest of it go through the stockade?  I don't know, I've never been there (saw the movie, though).

As for shade and shelter, a little imaginuity goes a long way.  But Wirz was short in that department.

How about vegetable seeds for fresh produce?  There are several things Wirz, with his medical training, should have known and then done something about it.

The History Channel has run several programs on this topic:
  • Civil War Journal: War Crimes: Death Camps
  • Eighty Acres of Hell: Camp Douglas
  • The Horrors of Andersonville Prison
Patty

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