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Brigadier General John H. Winder Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

BRIGADIER GENERAL JOHN H. WINDER
Born: February 21, 1800 in "Rewston", Somerset County, Maryland
Died: February 7, 1865 in Florence, South Carolina
Biography | show moreshow less
John Henry Winder (1800-1865), a West Point graduate, served the US Army with distinction during the Mexican War, receiving field promotions for his conduct in the battles on the approach to Mexico City. Siding with the Confederacy, General Winder was placed in command of Confederate prisons east of the Mississippi. His appointee, Captain Henry Wirz, commanding officer at Andersonville prison and the only Confederate military officer tried, convicted and hanged after the Civil War. Winder, Henry Wirz's superior, who had more responsibility for conditions within the prison than Wirz, died of a heart attack before the war ended, on February 7, 1865. Other Confederate leaders, and some later historians, have denied that Winder was deliberately cruel to Union prisoners, explaining that severe Confederate shortages of food and medicine render their proper care impossible. Winder spent a year as an instructor at West Point; among his students was future CSA President Jefferson Davis. With orders to join the 18th Mississippi, Charles WORK probably joined the unit in time for the Battle of Gettysburg, where the regiment participated in General Barksdale's heroic charge of July 2, 1863, called by a Union colonel who witnessed it "the grandest charge ever made by mortal man." Casualties in Barksdale's Brigade were 50% in that assault, yet the 18th Mississippi went on to participate under Longstreet's Corps in many of the war's great remaining battles, including Lookout Mountain and The Wilderness.  Though fewer than 200 of the regiment's 1100 troops were still alive in early 1865, the unit voted unanimously to re-enlist "for forty years" or the duration of the war.

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