Wirz, Henry

Wirz, Henry

(1822–65) physician, army officer; born in Switzerland. A Louisiana physician, he was wounded at Fair Oaks and Seven Pines (May 1862). After some time in Europe as a Confederate agent, in January 1864 he became superintendent of Andersonville prison in South Carolina; it became notorious for its appalling conditions and high death rate. He was later convicted of conspiring to murder prisoners and hanged in November 1865—the only person executed after the Civil War for war crimes.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.