The Wirz Monument (Oglethorpe, Georgia)


The Wirz Monument was dedicated in 1909 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to commemorate, and exonerate, Captain Heinrich Hartmann Wirz who served as the commander of the Andersonville Civil War Prison between 1864-65. Wirz was hanged in Washington, DC in 1865 with a conviction of murder and conspiracy by a military tribunal. The monument is a thirty-five-foot-tall granite obelisk. Both the pedestal's base and the obelisk's base rest on layers of rough, unpolished granite. The pedestal's base is boldly inscribed with the word "WIRZ." The pedestal's four sides bear individual inscriptions. The monument is still standing and is the site of an annual memorial service for Henry Wirz each November hosted by the Alexander H. Stephens Camp 78, Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Monument type:



C. J. Clark of Clark Monumental Works

Dedication Date:




Sumter County


United States


Front/East Side: IN MEMORY CAPTAIN HENRY WIRZ C.S.A. BORN ZURICH, SWITZERLAND SENTENCED TO DEATH AND EXECUTED AT WASHINGTON, D.C. NOV 15, 1865 TO RESCUE HIS NAME FROM THE STIGMA ATTACHED TO IT BY EMBITTERED PREJUDICE THIS SHAFT IS ERECTED BY THE GEORGIA DIVISION UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY Second/South side: Discharging his duty with such humanity as the harsh circumstances of the times and the policy of the foe permitted, Captain Wirz became at last the victim of a misdirected popular clamor. He was arrested in time of peace, while under the protection of a parole, tried by a military commission of a service to which he did not belong, and condemned to ignominious death on charges of excessive cruelty to federal prisoners. He indignantly spurned a pardon proffered on condition that he would incriminate President Davis and thus exonerate himself from charges of which both were innocent. Third/West side: It is hard on our men held in southern prisons not to exchange them, but it is humanity of those left in the ranks to fight our battles. At this particular time, to release all rebel prisoners north would insure Sherman's defeat and would compromise our safety here. Ulysses S. Grant August 18, 1864." Fourth/North side: When time shall have softened passion and prejudice, when reason shall have stripped the mask from misrepresentation, then justice, holding evenly her scales, will require much of past censure and praise to change places. Jefferson Davis, December 1888

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Conception Date:
Opening Date:
Granite, Marble
0m x 0m x 7.32m
C. J. Clark
Cost / Value:
$3,000 (initial price proposed)
Erected by:
The United Daughters of the Confederacy, Georgia division
Funded by:
United Daughters of the Confederacy through a national fundraising campaign
Run by:
Andersonville National Historic Site
Indigenous Land
Data Sources:

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