Winder was made the commissary of Confederate prisons that November , a position that was long overdue, and he did improve the general conditions before his death by centralizing control over prison construction, dispersion of captives, and securing more provisions of every description.
Winder was not the cruel tyrant his accusers claimed, but neither was he the saint that later defenders alleged. His commands were among the most sensitive as well as the most publicized, North or South, and as conditions in the Confederacy deteriorated in 1864 and 1865, his situation became impossible. When the commissary system and the railroads failed, Union captives suffered and died by the thousands; it is difficult to believe that anyone, given Winder's predicament, could have done any better.
Arch Fredric Blakey, "Winder, John Henry," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/04/04-01066.html.