This morning I posted a deal on Andersonville POW camp under the “On This Day” caption and received a ton of comments and emails reminding me that Union POW camps were just as bad, Wirz was a scapegoat, it was Lincoln’s refusal to exchange or parole prisoners that caused the overcrowding, etc etc.
The only reason I singled out Andersonville was because they began receiving prisoners on the 27th of February. That’s it.
While I do appreciate (no sarcasm here) your comments and emails, I’m well aware of atrocities on both sides concerning prisoners of war. There were many, many camps on both sides that had horrendous conditions. Matter of fact, over several months of lightweight research I’ve yet to find a single solitary camp on either side that had what we today would consider humane conditions and yes, I fully believe that it was Lincoln’s policies that caused that.
Wirz was executed because his side lost. That’s it. No other reason. Had the Confederacy won, we wouldn’t even know his name today. It’s been that way all through history and it will be that way in the future.
And before I get a shitload of comments and emails for using the term Civil War in my title, let me say this: That was the term that I was taught all through school. Hell, I never even heard the term ‘War of Northern Aggression’ until I was in my 20s.