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Henry Wirz

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by timk, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. bama46

    bama46 Captain

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    Must be somethin wrong with my computer... my screen says you used the term "douchebag".. and later in the same post referred to Jefferson Davis... If you did not mean him, then you certainly meant someone else...no matter who you meant, it is childish.

    The term is offensive and anytime you or anyone else uses it I will respond... so you call names, and I will refer to you as "sonny boy" because that is the act of a child.
     

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  3. Elennsar

    Elennsar Colonel

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    Calling someone a douchebag is childish? Okay, how would you refer to him to express the sentiment?

    Again, if you have a better term for the individual/s responsible, please share it. Calling me "Sonny boy" does nothing except demonstrate that you don't care how offensive something is to me.

    Which makes a mockery out of your claim that you have a problem with something being offensive.
     
  4. bama46

    bama46 Captain

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    No it doesn't. It brings to your attention that you are acting childish and using offensive language which has no business on this board.
    Care to ask a mod their opinion?
     
  5. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    A mod's opinion.

    I do not like the term douchebag. It offends me considerably.
     
  6. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    Elennsar and bama46,

    This is how interesting and informative threads get locked, when two grown adults feel the need to go at one another like two teenagers at a football game.

    May I suggest a time-out?

    Posted in the capacity as a friend and fellow forum-member who does not wish to involve a moderator.

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue
     
  7. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    Too late.

    Unionblue
     
  8. Elennsar

    Elennsar Colonel

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    How about demonstrating that offensive behavior by ALL users is unacceptable instead of letting Bama get away with it regardless of any and all complaints I've made about it?

    Since the original person to use that phrase wasn't me, and it wasn't faulted at the time, I was given the impression that it was acceptable. If that was a misimpression, I would appreciate a mod saying so directly to begin with.

    It wasn't called childish or inappropriate here:

    http://civilwartalk.com/forums/camp...8-yr-old-whack-job-long-gun-2.html#post129865

    More recently: http://civilwartalk.com/forums/civil-war-history-gettysburg-forum/36863-lees-health.html#post198396



    See above.
     
  9. bama46

    bama46 Captain

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    You are right of course, and I would not like to see the thread locked, but I reiterate that there is language that has no place on a board that is viewed by ladies and children. If that seems sexist, then so be it. I do believe there are more approiate ways of expressing oneself in public.
     
  10. Baggage Handler #2

    Baggage Handler #2 2nd Lieutenant

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    Okeydoke...

     
  11. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Had enough. Woke up grumpy and she wasn't pleased either. Come back Saturday.
     
  12. bama46

    bama46 Captain

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    [​IMG] Originally Posted by bama46 [​IMG]
    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    dumbasses post deleted


    Whoops...spelling error...
    remove the last two letters and you will see I was referring to myself...not anyone else
     
  13. Mr King

    Mr King Sergeant

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  14. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Thank you, Mr. King. Now I have to go back a few pages to resurrect what this thread was about. Wirz. Right? A rather t***** subject, but relevant.

    Geez! I was going to use *****ly, but I knew that would get bleeped.
     
  15. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    A few lines submitted for the forum's consideration.

    From the book, John Ransom's Andersonville Diary, by John Ransom, a twenty-year-old Union soldier, captured in 1863, sections concerning Captain Wirtz. (Sorry they are not in order, as I just flipped through the diary and typed what I first came across.)

    1864.

    "April 30.--Very small rations given to us now. Not more than one quarter what we want to eat and that of the poorest quality. Splendid weather, but too warm; occasional rains. The Flying Dutchman (Wirtz) offers to give any two at a time twelve hours start, and if caught to take the punishment he has for runaways. The offer is made to intimidate those thinking to escape. Half the men would take the consequences with two hours start.

    March 25.--Lieut. Piersons is no longer in command of the prison, but instead a Capt. Wirtz. Came inside today and looked us over. Is not a very prepossessing looking chap. Is about thirty-five or forty years old, rather tall, and a little stoop shouldered; skin has a pale, white livered look, with thin lips. Has a sneering sort of cast of countenance. Makes a fellow feel as if he would like to go up and boot him. Should judge he was a Swede, or some such countryman. Hendryx thinks he could make it warm for him in short order if he only had a chance. Wirtz wears considerable jewelry on his person--long watch chain, something that looks like a diamond for a pin in his shirt, and wears patent leather boots or shoes. I asked him if he didn't think we would be exchanged soon. He said: Oh, yes, we would be exchanged soon. Somehow or other this assurance don't elate us much; perhaps it was his manner when saying it. Andersonville is getting to be a rather bad place as it grows warmer. Several sick with fevers and sores.

    March 28.--We are squadded over today, and rations about to come in. It's a sickly dirty place. Seems as if the sun was not over a mile high, and has a particular grudge against us. Wirtz comes inside and has began to be very insolent. Is constantly watching for tunnels. He is a brute. We call him the "Flying Dutchman..."

    May 2.--A crazy man was shot dead by the guard an hour ago. The guard dropped a piece of bread on the inside of the stockade, and the fellow went inside the dead line to get it and was killed. The bread wagon was raided upon as soon as it drove inside today and all the bread stolen, for which offense no more will be issued today. As I write Wirtz is walking about the prison revolver in hand, cursing and swearing. The men yell out "Hang him up!" "Kill the Dutch louse!" "Buck and gag him!" "Stone him to death!" &c., and he all the time trying to find out who it is insulting him so. "I vish I find out who calls me such insulting vords, I kill the dam Yankee as soon I eat my supper!" And, every few minutes a handful of dirt is thrown by someone. Wreaks his vengeance by keeping back rations from the whole camp.

    April 7.--Capt. Wirtz prowls around the stockade with a rebel escort of guards, looking for tunnels. Is very suspicious of amateur wells which some have dug for water. It is useless to speak to him about our condition, as he will give us no satisfaction whatever. Says it is good enough for us _____ Yankees. I am deputized by a half a dozen or so to speak to him as to the probabilities of a change, and whether we may not reasonably expec to be exchanged without passing the summer here. In his position he must know something in relation to our future. At the first favorable moment shall approach his highness...

    April 10.--Getting warmer and warmer. Can see the trees swaying back and forth on the outside, but inside not a breath of fresh air. Our wood is all gone, and we are now digging up stumps and roots for fuel to cook with. Some of the first prisoners here have passable huts made of logs, stick, pieces of blankets, &c. Room about all taken up in her now. Rations not so large. Talk that they intend to make the meal into bread before sending it inside, which will be an improvement. Rations have settled down to less than a pint of meal per day, with occasionally a few peas, or an apology for a piece of bacon, for each man. Should judge that they have hounds on the outside to catch run-aways, from the noise. Wirtz don't come in as much as formerly. The men make it uncomfortable for him. As Jimmy Devers says, "He is a terror..."

    May 10.--Capt. Wirtz very domineering and abusive. Is afraid to come into camp any more. There are a thousand men in here who would willingly die if they could kill him first. Certainly the worst man I ever saw...

    More to follow....

    Unionblue
     
  16. Southland

    Southland Banned

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    That sounds like what I have read about in Camp Douglas.
     
  17. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    Southland,

    Sounds like?

    People were complaining about Capt. Wirtz in Camp Douglas? :smile:

    Unionblue
     
  18. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    Continued from the book, John Ransom's Andersonville Diary:

    June 29. (1864)--Capt. Wirtz sent inside a guard of fifteen or twenty to arrest and take out quite a number of prisoners. They had the names and would go right to their quarters and take them. Some tell-tale traitor has been informing on them, for attempting to escape or something. Wirtz punishes very hard now; so much worse than a few months ago. Has numerous instruments of torture just outside the gate. Sores afflict us now, and the Lord only knows what is next...

    In the section of Ransom's book entitled, What Became of the Boys, he had this to say about Capt. Wirtz:

    "Every one knows the fate of Capt. Wirtz, our prison commander at Andersonville, who was hung at Washington, D. C., in 1866, for his treatment of us Union prisoners of war. It was a righteous judgment, still I think there are others who deserved hanging fully as much. He was but the willing tool of those higher in command. Those who put him there knew his brutal disposition, and should have suffered the same disposition made of him. Although I believe at this late day those who were in command and authority over Capt. Wirtz have successfully thrown the blame on his shoulders, it does not excuse them in the least so far as I am concerned. They are just as much to blame that thirteen thousand men died in a few months at that worst place the world has ever seen, as Capt. Wirtz, and should have suffered accordingly. I don't blame any of them for being rebels if they thought it right, but I do their inhuman treatment of prisoners of war."

    In closing, Ransom stated the following:

    "I hope that this Diary may prove successful in its mission of truly portraying the scenes at Andersonville and elsewhere during the time of my imprisonment, and if so, the object of its author shall have been accomplished.

    Yours Very Respectfully,
    John L. Ransom,
    Late 1st Sergt. Co. A, 9th Mich. Cav."

    Unionblue
     
  19. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    To All,

    Was reading a new book that I had just bought, PURSUIT, The Chase, Capture, Persecution & Surprising Release Of Jefferson Davis, by Clint Johnson, when I came across the following section pertaining to Capt. Wirz in chapter 13, "The Government Is Unable to Deal with the Subject," pg. 266:

    "...After Wriz had been convicted of war crimes, unidentified representatives from the United States government asked him to implicate Davis so that a formal charge of war crimes could be created on which to try the Confederate president. Two nights before Wirz was sentenced to hang on November 10, 1865, a number of civilians went into his cell. According to R. B. Winder, who was in the cell across from Wirz, the civilians offered to free Wirz if he would say that he was acting on personal orders from Davis to starve the Federal prisoners.

    Wirz refused, insisting that he had never met Davis or received any orders from him. Winder said he heard Wirz tell the men that he considered it treason to the South to implicate anyone in a crime falsely that had not happened--the intentional mistreatment of Union prisoners.

    Wriz hanged two day later."

    In the notes section of this book, I could find no source or reference to this particular section, and was wondering if anyone else had read or seen such in the course of their readings and research.

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue
     
  20. Freddy

    Freddy 2nd Lieutenant

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    Neil,

    Here is what Wirz's lawyer said in 1867.

    ...On the night before the execution of the prisoner (November 9, 1865) a telegram was sent to the Northern press from this city, stating that Wirz had made important disclosures to General L. C. Baker, the well-known detective, implicating Jefferson Davis, and that the confession would probably be given to the public. On the same evening some parties came to the confession of Wirz, Rev. Father Boyle, and also to me, one of them informing me that a high Cabinet official wished to assure Wirz that if he would implicate Jefferson Davis with the atrocities committed at Andersonville, his sentence would be commuted. The messenger requested me to inform Wirz of this. In the presence of Father Boyle, I told Wirz next morning what had happened.


    The Captain simply and quietly replied, "Mr. Schade, you know that I have always told you that I do not know anything about Jefferson Davis. He had no connection with me as to what was done at Andersonville. If I knew anything about him, I would not become a traitor against him or anybody else even to save my life."


    He likewise denied that he had ever made any statement to General Baker. Thus ended the attempt to suborn Captain Wirz against Jefferson Davis. That alone shows what a man he was. How many of his defamers would have done the same? With his wounded arm in a sling, the poor paroled prisoner mounted the scaffold two hours later. His last words were that he died innocent and so he did.

    http://www.flatfenders.com/scv/Defense of Henry Wirz.htm
     
  21. bama46

    bama46 Captain

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    I have heard that story, as a story, all my life. In the accounts retold by my family members, it was Stanton that came to his cell with an offer of freedom if he would implicate Davis.
     

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