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“The War Criminal’s Son: The Civil War Saga of William A. Winder” presented by Jane Singer

  • Los Angeles FamilySearch Library @ The Los Angeles Mormon Temple 1591 East Temple Way Los Angeles, CA, 90024 United States (map)

"What's in a Name?" What if you lived in the 19th Century, and your name was synonymous with brutality, in an already brutal Civil War? Meet William Andrew Winder, who was the only member of the large Confederate Winder clan to shatter family ties to remain with the Union. Learn about his early life, his army career, his time as Commandant of Fortress Alcatraz, and how his name and reputation were tainted with accusations of disloyalty and treason. Was he deserving of these accusations? Follow his troubling, painful, and, finally, inspiring saga through the Civil War, and beyond, into a self-imposed exile in San Diego. Who was his father, and why was he excoriated, and posthumously indicted for war crimes at the incomprehensibly tragic Andersonville Prison? Despite his father’s reputation, how did William A. Winder treat seditious California prisoners, in his struggle to retain lost honor and, again and again, prove himself loyal to the Union?

Meet Our Speaker


Jane Singer is a Civil War scholar and author of fiction and nonfiction. Her nonfiction works include: “The War Criminal’s Son: The Civil War Saga of William A. Winder” (2019); “Lincoln’s Secret Spy: The Civil War Case That Changed The Future of Espionage” (2015); and, “The Confederate Dirty War: Arson, Bombings, Assassination and Plots for Chemical and Germ Attacks Against the Union” (2005,) on which the History Channel based a two-hour special, called: “Civil War Terror,” in 2006. Singer was both the historical consultant for the project, as well as the primary, onscreen narrator. Her writing has been featured in the Washington Post Magazine (“The Fiend in Gray”), The Washington Times (“Felix Stidger and the Sons of Liberty”). Her research and discovery of Stidger, a little-known American hero, were also illuminated in a Chicago Sun-Times article.

Singer’s fiction works include: “Alias Dragonfly,” the first book in a young adult, Civil War spy trilogy, featuring the intrepid Pinkerton agent, teenager Maddie Bradford. (2011), and “Booth’s Sister,” a historical fantasy about the reckless, enchanted childhood of John Wilkes Booth, and his beloved sister, Asia (2008.)

Singer is also a professional actor, voice-over artist, narrator and lecturer. Born and raised in Falls Church, Virginia, she now lives in Los Angeles, California, and is currently speaking to various groups about “The War Criminal’s Son.”