Winder was a professional soldier.
He graduated from the USMA, West Point, NY, in 1820, and served at Fort McHenry and on the Florida frontier until he resigned in August 1823. He was reappointed with the rank of second Lieutenant of Artillery in 1827, and promoted to first Lieutenant in 1833, and Captain in 1842.
He entered the Confederate service, was made Brigadier General and given command at Richmond, where he had charge of the Libby and Belle Isle military prisons. Subsequently, he was assigned to command the prison camp at Andersonville, GA. AMW's son William McN. Whistler worked under his command at Libby prison. AMW was a friend of Mrs John H. Winder, and must have taken advantage of her husband's military position, by securing through his influence the shipment of goods from England to New York.
Confederate Military History, 1899, vol. 1; Cullum Memorial Edition, Register of Graduates and former cadets, United States Military Academy, West Point, 1980, No. 242.