CIVIL-WAR-L ArchivesArchiver > CIVIL-WAR > 2007-09 > 1190145656
From: "Rhonda Houston" <>
Subject: Re: [CIVIL-WAR] [ACWGREY] Andersonville Prison Articles
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2007 15:00:56 -0500
Won't it be correct to say that it all depends how someone views the world
as to another's behavior???
Be sure to read page 232 concerning Capt Wirtz's behavior at Anderson Prison
from what another man's thought was, who was considered Capt Wirtz's
equality in rank and importance (in regards to what the overall society
would think/say) before you put a lot of creditability to someone who would
refer to him as "a good man at heart"???
And here's another source which may add a balance to what I've sent and that
book by Lewis McGough and even provide a twist to reality (what actually
happen to Capt Wirtz...war makes many, many terrible things happen to
people, but no one 'incharge' is inescapable from responsibility of taking
care of those within whom he is caring for the enemy or his own.
Rhonda Warmack Houston
From: [mailto:] On
Behalf Of Eugenia
Sent: Monday, September 17, 2007 8:31 PM
Subject: Re: [ACWGREY] Andersonville Prison Articles
Thanks for sharing this well-written memoir of a Union soldier on his
experiences in Andersonville Prison.
Here is another memoir written by a Confederate soldier that compliments the
information and provides further insights:
The Confederate Prison at Andersonville
Vastly more rare are accounts like Lewis McGough's account of his service at
the prison at Andersonville, for while there are numerous accounts of life
at the Confederate prison at Andersonville written by Union soldiers
imprisoned there, accounts by Confederates who served there are very rare,
and none has received the great amount of exposure given several of the
accounts of Union soldiers.
The Confederate prison at Andersonville has received far more attention than
has any other Confederate prison. The greater attention given Andersonville
may be an example of the greater power of pictures than words. Ironically,
it was due to an act of mercy on the part of Confederate officials that gave
the North a chance to take photographs of emaciated prisoners from
Andersonville that received wide circulation and elicited great outrage.
Although the North would not provide any prisoners in exchange, the
Confederacy released from Andersonville the prisoners who were in the worst
condition, and these men were photographed once they arrived in the North,
where they received a great deal of publicity and aroused great anger at the
Confederacy due to the men's ghastly appearance.
Lewis McGough wrote that he was mustered in with the company known as
Company G, Third Georgia Reserve Troops.
"We were sent from Jackson, Ga., where the company was formed and mustered
into service, to Macon Ga. There the regiment was formed consisting of ten
companies. I was made regiment drummer. We remained at Macon for about a
month, guarding Yankee prisoners in a temporary prison held there, for the
permanent prison to be completed at Andersonville, where the prisoners were
moved in May, 1864. There we were joined by four other regiments, forming a
There were about sixty thousand in the stockade at Andersonville from the
first of July until November, when a part of them were moved to Florida,
when Sherman's army was passing through Georgia. It was charged by the North
that the Confederate government was cruel and barbarous to the Yankee
prisoners, but this is not true. They were cared for as well as possible.
Our means of supplies were about exhausted. They were fed on a coarse food,
but as good as we soldiers had. We had corn bread, beef, some bacon, rice
and potatoes, but not too plentiful. It was cooked and handed out to them in
mess kits as it was issued out to us. We had to do our own cooking. The
prisoners' food was carried in the stockade in a two-mule wagon, and
distributed out by their own men, paroled for that purpose. The paroled
prisoners were not confined to the prisons, they had their own bounds to
pass about without being molested."
Defense of Captain Wirz
"Captain Wortz [sic] was hung after the war was over, charged with being
cruel and barbarous to the Yankee prisoners, which was not true, for he was
a good man at heart, as was evident to me by his many kind acts I witnessed
myself. He furnished them with every convenience that was possible. I never
knew of him having any one of them punished. He looked after them being fed;
he would ride his large white horse in front of the commissary wagon to see
that it was properly distributed. There were two armed guards and two
paroled Yankees with each wagon and a Negro drove the team. The guards were
necessary to keep the prisoners from making a raid on the wagon and carrying
the food off promiscuously.
Captain Wortz permitted the prisoners to have their own laws in the
Stockade. They established a court with officers to carry on the court and
enforce their laws, but could not inflict punishment on their fellow
prisoners without submitting them to Captain Wortz in writing and getting
his approval. On one occasion I remember, there were five Yankee prisoners
arrested for robbery and murder; they were tried by their court and
convicted. They were sentenced to be hung. [Other accounts say more than
five men were involved.] The cases, as tried, were submitted to Captain
Wortz in command of the stockade. He passed on the cases and approved them,
[and] sent them back to the court for the judgment to be carried out. They
built the gallows on an open space in the stockade long enough to hang the
five men all at the same time. When the day arrived for their execution, all
five men were brought out and lined up on the scaffold under the gallows,
the ropes were placed around their necks, and when all was ready the
scaffold was knocked from under them. Four of them hung, while the fifth
one, who was a very large man, broke his rope, and hit the ground running.
He was run down and brought back and hung in the same place before the other
four were cut down. A number of we soldiers had a good view of the
proceedings from a high hill outside of the stockade. I witnessed it all.
Other prisoners who violated their laws were tried and, if found guilty,
were punished in various ways, by bucking and gagging and other methods.
They had their own judge, lawyers, that passed on their cases. Also sheriffs
and police to execute their laws."
It's Revealed One of the Prisoners Is a Woman!
"One other incident that took place at Andersonville, I will relate in my
story as the previous one, and this one was never in any history or given to
the public in any way. A young couple from Ireland came over to our country
during the Civil War, and landed in New York. The young husband enlisted or
[was] drafted in the Northern army. His young wife could not bear the idea
of having her young husband leaving her in a strange land among strangers
without any kind of protection. They planned a way so that they could be
together; the young wife had her hair cut short like a man and clothed
herself in her husband's clothes. She enlisted with her husband and they
went to war together. They were sent to Virginia and were taken prisoners by
the Confederate army and sent to Andersonville prison. The young wife's sex
was discovered in the stockade and was reported to the Captain. He had her
and her husband brought out of the stockade and placed in a tent in front of
his headquarters. A few days later the young wife gave birth to a child, the
sex of the child I do not remember. She did well, and in a few days she was
sitting in front of the tent on a camp stool nursing her child. They
remained about a month longer and then they disappeared. I was told Captain
Wortz paroled them out and sent them back to the North. I passed by their
tent every day while they were there. I never heard of them after they left.
[I] have always wondered why this incident was never published and given out
to the public."
Source: The Butts County Boys' War by Carole E. Scott, Copyrighted 1996.
From: "Carol Botteron"
Subject: [CIVIL-WAR] Andersonville Article There's an article, actually a
memoir, from a Union soldier who spent
11 months at Andersonville:
It's the HistoryNet, but you can read it online. This is supposed to be the
first time it's ever been published.
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