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The Court-Martial of Henry Wirz

On March 8, 2006, The CCWRT produced an original play, "The Court-Martial of Henry Wirz", written by Roundtable Historian, Dale Thomas.  The play dramatized the war crimes trial of CSA Captain Henry Wirz, commandant of the infamous Confederate POW camp at Andersonville, Georgia.

Author's Comments:

"I dedicate this play to Nathan Hawkins and Ansel Jordan, soldiers of the 103rd OVI from West Rockport Township, who died at Andersonville.  They are buried in a mass grave outside the prison.  After the Civil War, family members placed stones in their honor in Pioneer Cemetery located today in Fairview Park, Ohio.

"With the exception of Louis Schade's "A Defense of Captain Henry Wirz," which comes from The True Story of Andersonville Prison by James M. Page (1906), the dialog is taken from trial records and other material that the former Judge Advocate, Norton P. Chipman, put in his book, The Tragedy of Andersonville, The Trial of Captain Henry Wirz, the Prison Keeper.  Published in 1911, Chipman wrote his tome in reaction to the dedication of a Wirz monument near the prison site, two years earlier.

"The Wirz trial is significant because it was cited in the trials of war criminals in the twentieth century.  Military personnel were now to be held accountable for following orders that resulted in crimes against humanity which violated the rules of war.

"I thank my wife, Lea Thomas, for her help in making this play a reality."

- Dale Thomas    


Additional information on Andersonville Prison and the trial of Henry Wirz:

Andersonville Prison

Henry Wirz

Captain Henry Wirz
 
"The Court-Martial of Henry Wirz"
Cast of Players
George George Major-General Lewis Wallace
Court-Martial Judge
Casey Wolnowski Lt. Colonel Norton P. Chipman
 Judge Advocate
Mel Maurer Otis T. Baker
Defense Counsel
Warren McClelland Henry Wirz
Defendant
William Vodrey Courtroom Clerk
Mark Banks Courtroom Guard
John Fazio Dr G.G. Roy
former prison doctor
David McCrone Major-General J.H. Wilson
US Military Division of the Mississippi
Diane Mintz Miss Clara Barton
nurse
Terry Koozer Corporal A.G. Blair
former prisoner
Mary Adams Mrs. Ambrose Spencer
wife of Georgian farmer
Robert Hook Reverend Peter Whelan
former prison priest
Eddie Myers F.G. Ruffin
former CSA Lt. Colonel
Anthony Kellon Augustus Moesner
former prisoner

Wirz surrounded by the Court Judge Advocate and Mrs. Spencer

Wirz escapes the gallows

Father Whelan Guard and Ordinance Chief
Mrs. Spencer confronts Dr. Roy The Verdict
Court Clerk and Defense Counsel "All's well that ends well"

The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable