Oct. 28, 2010
 
CIVIL WAR 150 OP-ED: Wirz Memorial Set for Sunday, Nov. 7
 
By Calvin E. Johnson Jr.
 
How many Talk Show hosts or politicians speak about the men and women who helped make America the “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave?” Glenn Beck, of the Fox News channel, often speaks about the Constitution, Bill of Rights and those who stood for America’s Independence.
 
Is anyone talking about the upcoming War Between the States Sesquicentennial? The 150th Anniversary of the War for Southern Independence will be commemorated by such groups as the Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans. See more information at: http://www.150wbts.org/
 
Do young people know the truth about Henry Wirz?
 
The 35th annual Captain Henry Wirz Memorial Service (a tradition started by the Alexander H. Stephens Camp 78 Sons of Confederate Veterans and Americus Chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1976) will take place on Sunday afternoon, November 7th at 3 PM in the town of Andersonville, Georgia.
 
The guest speaker for the event will be Dr. Richard Rhone from Tuscaloosa, Alabama who is the Lieutenant Commander General of the Military Order of Stars and Bars. John Carroll will lead those assembled in the singing of “Dixie” and Andersonville Mayor Marvin Buagh will bring welcome.
 
For more information about the event contact James Gaston by email at: gaston7460@bellsouth.net
 
Captain Henry Wirz was born, Hartman Heinrich Wirz in November 1823, in Zurich, Switzerland where his father, Abraham Wirz was highly respected.
 
At the outbreak of the War Between the States, Wirz enlisted in the Fourth Louisiana infantry on June 16, 1861. He was promoted to sergeant a year later and was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines. He never recovered from the injury to his left wrist and it caused him great pain for the rest of his life.
 
Wirz was promoted to Captain on June 12, 1862 and was first detailed to General John Winder where he was given command of a Confederate military prison in Richmond, Virginia.
 
After serving a year as special emissary to President Jefferson Davis in Paris and Berlin, on March 27, 1864, he was installed as commandant of Andersonville Prison at Fort Sumter in Georgia. Wirz did the best he could do with many Union prisoners and very little food and medicine. It is written that the guards got the same food and medicine as the prisoners.
 
The Confederacy sent a distress message to Union President Abraham Lincoln and Union General Ulysses S. Grant. The South pleaded for an exchange of Confederate and Union prisoners. Lincoln and Grant, however, refused believing the Union prisoners might go home but the Confederate prisoners might go back to fight another day.
 
Captain Henry Wirz was unfairly charged of war crimes and even though witnesses for the defense could testify, his fate was already decided. Among those who knew of Wirz’s innocence was a Union soldier who was a prisoner at Andersonville.
 
Wirz was executed in Washington, D.C. on November 10, 1865.
 
The Confederate Reenactors and Honor Guard of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 78 (Muckalee Guards) will perform the closing ceremony at the monument to Wirz in Andersonville placed there by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (Georgia Division).
 
Johnson is a speaker, Writer, Author of book “When America Stood for God, Family and Country”—looking to re-publish and member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He lives in Kennesaw, GA. He is a contributor to Huntington News Network.



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