however, from the testimony that his order in this case, as in others, was peremptory,a nd according to his own version it was not a command that could be construed by any subordinate as merely a menace. Moreover, it was distnctly proved to have been accompanied by a threat that he would shoot the guard if the gaurd did not shoot this crippled soldier. He states futher, and it si so found by the record, that the poor man desired go be killed, it would seem,because he was suspected by his comrades of having given information to the prisn keepers of some attempts of prisoenrs to escape fromt eh staockade. This fact, however, in no degree palliates his murderer's guilt.
Of the homicides embraced in the fourth class (those committed directly by his own hand) the prisoners' statement notices buyt one, that of Stewart, sworn to by the witness Gray. it is asserted that the testimony of thsi witness is a pure fabrication. There is nothing found in the examination of the record which casts a doubt on his veracity and the court seems to have discovered nothing inhis manner on the stand to raise the question of his credibility.
As to all thsoe cases not hertofore specially mentioned the denfese insists thatthe allegations were too vague and indefinite,a nd that the testimony is insufficient to zsustain them, and also that it is altogether improbable that such murders could have been committed without coming to the knowledge of various witneses who stated that they had never heard of such crimes at Andersonville.no evidence being submitted which contradicts the concurrent and explicit statements of the witnesses, who give positive testimony of their perpetration, these murders are fastened to Wirz's hand.
Many points were raised by both sides relating to the admission of evidence as the trail progressed. These were fully debated att he time. No discussion of tehm here is deemed necessary,it not being found that comeptent proof material to the prisoners' defense on the specific offenses of which the court pronounced him guilty, was exclueded. Mucjh latitude seems to have been given him; he was aloowed to show spcial acts of kindness to the prisenrs and to introduce declarations made by himself in explanation of his acts. Letters and official reports and oral testimoany of his persoanl efforts,offered as indicating his interst in and a care for the comfort of the prisoenrs, wer also admitted.it is shown that every witness asked forby the defense was subpoenaesd, except certain rebel functionaries,who, for reasons stated at the time, did not appear onthe stand, but the judge- advocate proposed thatif the counself for the defense would set forth according to the common rule, by affidavit, what he expected and had reason to belive any witness who did not so appear would testify, it would be admitted of record that such witnesses would so testify. This proposition ws not acccepted. one hundered and six witnesses were subpoenaed for the defense, of whom sixty- eight reported, but thirty -nine of these, any of them soldiers of our Army and sufferers at Andersonville,were discahrged byt he prisenr's counsel without being put upon the stand.
A review of the proceedings leads to the opinion that no prejudice tot he legal rights of the prisoner can be successfully claimed to have resulted from any decieion which excluded testimoany he desired to introduce. The trial is believed to have been conducted in accordance with the regulations governing military courts, andthe record presents no error which can be held to invalidate the proceedings. The annals of our race present nowhere and at no time a darkeer field of crime than that of Andersonville, and it is fortunate for the intersts alike of public justice and of histoeric truth that from this field the veil has been