Thursday, January 24, 2008

Words from the condemned -- part 5 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 5 of 7: Henry Wirz diary entry of October 5, 1865. [See all entries in this series]

October 5, 1865

When I left the court-room to-day I heard a lady remark, I wish I could shoot out his eyes, meaning me. Foolish woman, the time will soon come, when my earthly eyes are shut up, are you in such a hurry. But it is very natural that people do think and pass such remarks. for weeks and weeks they have heard men testify to cruelties done by me, and now a very slim chance have I to contradict these statements. It seems to me as if Gen. Wallace had a personal spite against me or my counsel, or he would not act the way he does. If he has one against me, I pity him that he does not have more magnanimity of soul, than to crush me now in such an unheard of arbitrary way, if he has a spite against my counsel, it is a cowardly act to do as he does, for in the end I am the sufferer and not my counsel.

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