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Henry Wirz Research Paper

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Henry Wirz was perhaps one of the most controversial people involved in the Civil War. Many people saw him as a monster, the man responsible for the numerous deaths at the Andersonville Prison, while others thought he was just a scapegoat for the higher-ups, the man blamed for their mistakes. The only man hung for Civil War crimes, Henry Wirz was charged with the slaughter of over 13,000 of the prisoners who were kept in the Andersonville Prison. But where did his story begin? Heinrich Hartman Wirz was born on November 25, 1823 in Zurich Switzerland. His dream was to leave home and become a doctor. In 1849, his dream came true. He changed his name to Henry Wirz and immigrated to the U.S. with hopes of becoming a renowned physician, and ended up working as…show more content…
Most suffered from PTSD for the rest of their lives, along with other permanent mental and physical damage. After returning home, the Union soldiers told stories of the hardships they endured at the Andersonville Prison. Northerners and Southerners alike were appalled after finding out what was really going on in Southern prison camps. Demanding someone be blamed for these horrors, government officials asked those involved, and the answer was most often the same: nearly 150 former prisoners, guards, civilians, and medical staff testified that Wirz was to be blamed, as he had violated the laws of war by not only withholding available food and supplies, but also by issuing orders that resulted in the death of Union prisoners of war. Henry Wirz was charged with all of the deaths that occurred at the Andersonville prison. The only person punished for Civil War crimes, he was sentenced to a hanging on November 10, 1865. Many people protested his sentence, convinced he was only taking orders from the higher-ups. In the end, Henry Wirz had a memorial built in his honor, so that him and the horrors of the Andersonville prison would never be
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