Wirz Memorial Service is Nov. 13

Published 12:30 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2016

ANDERSONVILLE — The annual Capt. Henry Wirz Memorial Service will be held at 3 p.m. Nov. 13 in the town of Andersonville. The public is invited. The service is sponsored by the Alexander H. Stephens Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), in Americus. In case of inclement weather, the service will be held in the Old Village Hall in Andersonville.
Guest speaker for the service will be SCV Commander-in-Chief Thomas Strain from Athens, Alabama. He and his wife have two daughters. Strain is a former Alabama Division SCV Commander and was the SCV Lt. Commander-in-Chief from 2012 to 2014. He was elected as Commander-in-Chief in 2016.
The local SCV Camp has been sponsoring or co-sponsoring the annual Memorial Service since 1976. Capt. Henry Wirz was the Commander of Andersonville Prison Camp from 1864 to the end of the war in 1865. He was arrested after the war, taken to Washington, D.C., and tried before a military tribunal. Many historians have said his trial was the most unfair one ever held in the United States. He was found guilty of murdering 13 Andersonville prisoners, although not a single body was ever produced, nor was a name of a victim ever given.
The Yankees hanged Wirz on Nov. 10, 1865. Afterward, to show their hatred toward the South, they cut off Wirz’ head, arms and legs and exhibited them about the country. Part of his skeleton is still on exhibit in a museum in Maryland. It took his attorney four years before he could collect a few bones to have a Christian burial in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Washington.
In 1977, the National Organization, Sons of Confederate Veterans, meeting in Dallas, Texas, declared Wirz a Confederate hero/martyr.
Preceding the Memorial Service, at 2:30 p.m., the musical group, Southern Sounds, will present southern music and church songs.
For more information, contact James Gaston at 229-924-7460 (gaston7460@bellsouth.net ) or John Carroll at 924-8751.