Because of the massive newspaper coverage of the Wirz Tribunal, and the lack of trials against major Confederate leaders such as Robert E. Lee, it appeared to average Americans – both north and south – that Wirz was the only person tried, convicted, or executed after the war. This assumption as frequently been cited as "proof" that the government was out for vengeance against Wirz alone.
While the trial of Henry Wirz was by far the most famous of the military tribunals at the end of the Civil War, it was not the only one. In fact, there were nearly 1,000 military tribunals in which Confederates, both regulars and guerrillas, were charged with various violations of the laws of war – mostly related to the treatment of prisoners of war. Some of these trials even led to acquittals. For example, the camp commander at Salisbury Prison, Major John Gee, was arrested in the fall of 1865 and charged with similar crimes as Wirz. Unlike Wirz, Gee was unanimously acquitted in the spring of 1866. After the war, General Grant actually prevented the tribunal of another of Salisbury's commanders, Bradley T. Johnson, who faced charges of negligence at the prison and for burning Chambersburg, Pennsylvania in the summer of 1864. Even among those convicted, Wirz did not stand alone for the atrocities of Andersonville. James Duncan, who worked in the quartermaster's office at Andersonville, was arrested and convicted of manslaughter by a military tribunal for his role in intentionally withholding rations from prisoners. He was sentenced to hard labor at Fort Pulaski, where he escaped a year later.