Annual Capt. Henry Wirz Memorial Service to be held in Andersonville Sunday

Published 8:14 am Thursday, November 7, 2019

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The 44th annual Capt. Henry Wirz Memorial Service will be held in the town of Andersonville, GA on Sunday afternoon, November 10, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.  In case of very cold weather or rain,, the Service will be held up the street from the Wirz Monument in the Village Hall.  The public is invited to attend.  The annual Memorial Service is sponsored by the Alexander H. Stephens Camp 78, Sons of Confederate Veterans in Americus.  Capt. Henry Wirz was the Commandant of Andersonville Prison Camp in 1864-1865.

The guest speaker for the Memorial Service is Dr. Albert Winkler, History Librarian at Brigham Young University in Utah.  Dr. Winkler has done considerable research on Capt. Wirz  and his Trial, and considers the Trial a “National Disgrace.”

Capt. Wirz was tried before a Military Court in Washington, D.C. in 1865.  Perjured prosecution witnesses were permitted to testify, and a number of defense witnesses were not allowed to testify.  He was found guilty of murdering 13 Yankee prisoners at Andersonville, although No name and not a single body of any of the 13 alleged victims was ever produced.  He was hung on November 10, 1865.  Afterward, the Yankees cut off his head, arms, and legs, and exhibited the bones about the country.  Some of his bones are still on public exhibit in a Museum in Maryland.  It took his attorney four years to collect a few of his bones to bury in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

The Great Grand Nephew of Capt. Wirz, Col. Heinrich Wirz and his son, Col. Thomas Wirz (both from Bern, Switzerland) are planning on attending the Memorial Service.  Robert Watkins from Louisiana, who is a great great grandson of Capt. Wirz, and William Freeman, whose great uncle initiated the annual Memorial Service in 1976, are planning to attend.

The Americus SCV Camp 78 Muckalee Guards will provide Honor Guard Service.  Mrs. Dennis Crenshaw will provide music during the Service.  John Carroll of Americus is the Camp Commander.

Camp 78 will have the 65 page booklet “Andersonville Prison and Capt. Wirz Trial” for sale at the Service for $ 5.00.  Everyone is encouraged to purchase a copy for themselves or to give as a gift, and get the booklet autographed by those people connected to Capt. Henry Wirz.

For more information, contact James Gaston at or text or call at 229-938-9115.