GARDNER, ALEXANDER (1821-1882) [Execution of Captain Wirz, the Keeper of Andersonville Prison]
circa 1864. Albumen print on the printed mount of Taylor and Huntington with printed caption (a later issue thus), image 6 5/8 x 8 7/8 inches (175 x 225 mm). Mount somewhat toned (but apparently a tan card), so that the extent of this is hard to judge; the image with brown tones, still quite strong, a few minor surface marks visible in raking light. Framed.
This is the fifth of the plates that Gardner made of Henry Wirz's execution, after the trap on the gallows had been released. Wirz's trial was among the first for war crimes held in the United States, and one of only two resulting from atrocities during the Civil War. His conviction remains somewhat controversial, as the lack of support in the way of supplies he received from the Confederate government made his position untenable. Still, it is fair to say that he did not step aside in protest, and by continuing as commandant he effectively became complicit to the horrors of Andersonville.
Property from an International Corporation.
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