so faithfully and completely lifted. All the horrors of thsi pandemonium of the rebellion are laid bare to us in the braod, steadylight of the testimony of some 150 witnesses, who spoke what they had seen and heard and suffered,and whose evidence,given under oath and subjected to cross- examination and to every other test which human esxperience has devised for the ascertaining of truth, must be accepted as affording an immovable foundation for the sentence pronounced.
The proof under the second cahrge shows that some of our soldiers, for mere attempts to escape fromt heir oopressors, wer given to ferocious dogs to be torn in pieces; that others were confined in stocks and cahins till life yielded to the torture, and tht others were wantonly shot down at Wirz's didding or by his own hand. Here, in the presence of these pitiless murders of unarmed and helpless men,s o distinctly alleged and proved, justice might well claim the prisoner's life. There remains, however, to be contempl;ated crimes yet more revolting, for which he and his co- conspirators must be held responsible. The Andersonville prison records (made exhibits in this case) contain a roster of over 13,000 dead, buried naked, maimend, and putried, in one vast sepulcher. Of these a surgen of the rebel army who was on duty at this prison testifies that at least three- fourths died of the treatment inflicted on them while in confinement, and a surgeon of our own army, who was a prisoner there, states that four- fifths died from this cause. Under this proof, which has not been assailed, nearly 10,000, if not more, of these deaths must be charged directly tothe account of Wirz and his associates. This widespread sacrifice of life was not made suddently or under the influence of ungovernable passion, but was accomplished slowly and deliberately, b packing upward of 30,000 men like cattle in a fetid pen a mere cesspool- there to die for need of air to brethe, for want of ground on which to lie, for lack of shelter from sun and rain, ad from the slow, agonizing processes of starvation, when air and space and shelter and food were all within the ready gift of their tormentors. This work of death seems to have been a saturnalia of enjoyment for the prisoner, who, amid these savage orgies, evidenced such exultation and mingled with them such nameless blasphemy and riblald jests as at times to exhibit him rather as a demon than a man. it was his continued boast that by these barrbarities he was destoying more Union soldiers than rebel generals were butchering on the battle-0 field. He claimed to be doing the work of the rebellion, and faithfully, in all his murderous cruelty and baseness, did he represent its spirit.
It is by looking upon the cemeteries which have been filled from Libby, Belle Isle, Salisbury, Florence, and Andersonville and other rebel prisons, adn recalling the prolonged sufferings of the patriots who are sleeping there, that we can best understand the inner and real life of the rebellion and the hellish criminality and brutality of the traitors who maintained it. For such crimes human power is absolutely impotent to enforce wany adequate atonement.
It may be added, in conclusion, that the court before which the prisoner was tried was composed of officers high in rank and eminent for their faithful services and probity of character; that several of them were distinguished for their legal attainments. The investigation of the case was conducted throughout with patience and impartiality,and the conclusion readied is one from which the overwhelming volume of testimony left no escape. it is recommended that the sentence be executed.
Judge- Advocate- General.