The war began on 12 April, 1861, when the Confederate forces attacked the Fort Sumter which was held by a garrison of the Union. The conflict lasted four years and devastated completely the South. When the Union won the war in 1865, slavery was definitely abolished everywhere in the United States.
We also wish to put in light one Swiss citizen who supported the Confederacy: Captain Henri Wirz (Zürich 1823 - Washington 1865). Wirz was best known as the Commandant of the Camp Sumter which was a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp near Andersonville, Georgia. This place was infamous for its terrible conditions and the high mortality rate of Union detainees. After the Civil War, Wirz was executed for conspiracy and murders related to his command of the camp. He became one of two people who were convicted for the war crimes after the Civil War.
Originally from Italy, he came to Switzerland in 1847 and became quickly the owner of the Tipografia Elvetica in Capolago (southern tip of Lago di Lugano), which under his guidance had a considerable development, publishing subversive political works, clearly supporting the Italian unification. Forced to stop his publishing activities by the neutral Swiss government, Repetti emigrated, in 1859, to the United States.
|Augusto Fogliardi @ASMZ 1966|
Repetti returned to Switzerland, in 1862, because of health problems. His life experience in the US allowed him, in 1863, to be promoted to the rank of major by the General Staff of the Swiss Army.
The same year, from March to November 1863, he returned to the United States as a staff working for Swiss Colonel Augusto Fogliardi, whose mission was to observe the military operations. Having returned, in 1867, in Milan, he opened a small print shop as a publisher.
Source: D. Auberson
Fogliardi was the second Swiss observer, following Captain Ferdinand Lecomte (Lausanne 1826 - id. 1899), who studied the Union Army from 1861 till the beginning of 1862. For the sake of the record, Switzerland was the first nation in the American Civil War that sent military observers for the Union side. Fogliardi returned to Switzerland where he was engaged in a local political career.