Monday, January 7, 2008

Words from the condemned -- part 2 of 7: the diary of Henry Wirz

Selections from the diary Captain Henry Wirz, commandant of the notorious Confederate prison called Andersonville, made in the days leading up to his November, 1865 execution. Originally appeared in the Boston Advertiser; reprinted in the November 15, 1856 edition of the New York Times on page 1, column 1.

Part 2 of 7: Henry Wirz diary entry of October 2, 1865. [See all entries in this series]

Oct. 2, 1865

Again a day has passed, I am tired and worn out, whichever way I turn my eyes every thing looks gloomy and dark, can it be possible that knowing what I do know, that I shall fall a victim. But why do I doubt, what right have i to grumble as if it was a thing unheard of in history that men suffered the death of a felon, as innocent of the crimes alleged as I am, and if I dare to make a comparison between our Saviour and myself, did not he also suffer death. True, he died as an atonement for a sinful world, true he died willingly, he had a holy mission to fulfil, but I? Why shall I die? I can only say because it's God's will. Oh God, our Heavenly Father, give me the grace, give me the power to bear the cross which thou seest fit to lay on me. Have I not sinned against Thee, and neglected thy holy commandments. If I suffer now innocently, can I dare say, I never offended Thee, therefore be calm, my poor heart. give thyself in His hands and say Abba, Father!

No comments: