This paper aims to probe into the Henry Wirz trial that took place after the cessation of hostilities in the American Civil War. The trial is mainly about the criminal responsibility arising out of the violation of legal responsibilities emanating from international law in a civil war setting. In the same vein, during the trial the idea that the combatant privilege cannot be extended to cover war crimes was explicitly acknowledged. However, the trial was far from being a legally sound process. It was a thinly veiled attempt to avenge, owing much to and being under enormous societal pressure. This caused the trial to stray away from the ultimate objective of criminal procedure, which was unearthing the facts. This mistake was not repeated in a subsequent trial in which John H. Gee was the accused party, who, however, was acquitted. At the end of the trial Henry Wirz was found guilty and executed. All in all, this whole experience underlines the inevitably harmful consequences of misusing criminal law to political ends, which makes the Wirz Case still relevant for students of international criminal law.