Brigadier General John Henry Winder


Birth: 21 February 1800, Somerset County, Maryland

Death: 7 February 1865, Florence, South Carolina, it is said from disease contracted while visiting the prison stockade at Florence.

Buried: Green Mountain Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland

He was the son of General William. H. Winder, a soldier of the war of 1812, including being captured 6 June 1813, Stony Creek, Canada, and held prisoner. He commanded the American forces at the battle of Bladensburg (during the war of 1812.

He graduated from the United States military academy in 1820, served at Fort McHenry and on the Florida frontier until he resigned in August 1823.

He was reappointed with rank of second lieutenant of artillery in 1827, promoted ti first lieutenant in 1833 and served in the Florida war.

Promoted captain in 1842, he served in the Mexican war at La Hoya, Ocalaca, Contreras, Churubusco, Chapultepec and City of Mexico, was brevetted major and lieutenant colonel for gallantry; promoted to major 22 November 1860.

He resigned his USA commission 27 April 1861.

He entered the Confederate service as a brigadier general and given command at Richmond, where he had charge of the Libby and Belle Isle military prisons. Subsequently, in 1864, after the largest number of enlisted men had been transferred to Andersonville and many of the officers to Macon, he was placed in charge of all the prisons in Alabama and Georgia.

His character has been the subject of much dispute. To the last, President Davis, Secretary Seddon, and Adjutant Cooper declared that he was a much-maligned man. He was set to perform a task made impossible by the inadequacy of supplies of men, food, clothing, and medicines.

Confederate Military History, Volume I

Columbia Military POW Prison Page
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Bil Brasington