Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Dalton executions, pt. 4

A few days ago, I finished the draft of Chapter 9 for the 58th NCT book. This chapter concludes with the Dalton executions the first of May 1864. While I understand the necessity of executing men for desertion, I find the singling out of the 58th North Carolina deplorable. Fourteenmen from the same regiment, a few from the same community. I think those numbers are tragic. In my research, I came across the following statement by a chaplain of the 3rd Tennessee:

Today I witnessed a sight, sad indeed. I saw fourteen men shot for desertion. I visited with them twice yesterday and attended them to the place of execution. Most of them met death manfully. Some, poor fellows,were unprepared. I saw them wash and dress themselves for the grave. It was a solumn [sic] scene, they were tied to the state, there was the coffin, there the open grave ready to receive them...

I am closing the Dalton entries for the present, unless something more interesting comes along. I had thought about turning this into an article, something along the lines of Joseph E. Johnston and the Army of Tennessee executions. That's only a working title. We'll see where it goes.

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