Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Original newspaper clipping about the Andersonville Prison Camp at the end of the Civil War

Here is history and to a degree fraud in the making. Felix La Baume (Co. E. 39th NY vol.)  His artwork inflamed many and later his testimony against the head of the camp Wirz, let to the latter's hanging. While yes there were troubles in the camp, Wirz was not any worse than others. It was basically the testimony of this artist La Baume that led to his conviction and death.

Soon after the the hanging of Wirz, it was found out that La Baume, who claimed to be a descendant of Lafayette, was a fraud. His real name was Felix Oeser, from what would become in 1871 Germany. Not only did he fabricate his identity, he also fabricated his testimony against Wirz. So while we may look at this drawing and many aspects of it may be correct, it is still suspect as to all of what it shows. For if he lied about the camp, why wouldn't he lie in his drawings?  Felix Oeser vanished after his identity was found and never appears again in the annals of history. But he did leave his mark, and many still refer to him by his fake name.