This Day (Fortuitous Death Edition)

Published:February 7, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe

On this day in 1865, Confederate general John H. Winder died of a heart attack. He was old by then, having served in the Seminole War down in Florida and the Mexican War, and after a stint as Richmond‘s provost marshal he was now running all Confederate prisons in Georgia and Alabama. Which included Andersonville. This is why, his already being old notwithstanding, Winder was probably not going to live much longer, heart attack or no. Things were so bad at Andersonville that someone was going to pay. With Winder dead, the noose fit just as well around Henry Wirz’s neck.

Was that fair? As my dad likes to say, “Life isn’t fair. Jimmy Carter said so.”

IMAGE: “The cemetery. Mode of carrying and burying the dead,” an illustration of Andersonville by Union prisoner Thomas O’Dea, 1864 (National Park Service)