From these heights near headquarters, Capt. Henry A. Wirz could observe everything withing the prison walls. Envision the white post perimeters as the stockade; 30,000 human beings with that area; the din of all those voices, the groans from the hospital, the shouts of the guards, the smell of unwashed clothes and bodies.
Today's landscape of quiet grass softens for us the images of Andersonville. Wirz, the prison commandant, did not have that luxury.
The Wirz execution, November 10, 1865. The prison commandant, Capt. Henry A. Wirz, was responsible for maintaining order and discipline, imposing punishment, and providing rations. In search of a scapegoat after the war, the federal government tried Wirz for "murder, in violation of the laws of war," and sentenced him to death.
Some ten miles south of Andersonville, residents of Americus complained of the smell.
By the summer of 1864, the stockade became so overcrowded that all those individual prisoners may have appeared as a single, shuffling organism.