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War Crimes Against Southern Civilians

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Johnny Green of the Orphan Brigade: The Journal of a Confederate Soldier

WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., May 22, 1863.

Lieut. Col. WILLIAM H. LUDLOW, Agent of Exchange.

SIR: I perceive by the Northern papers that Captains [T.G.] McGraw and [William F.] Corbin were shot to death with musketry on Friday, the 15th instant, at or near Sandusky, Ohio.

These are the cases which I brought to your attention when last I saw you. These men were duly authorized to recruit within the limits of Kentucky. They were tried by a court-martial upon the charge of recruiting within your lines. They were sentenced to be shot and that sentence was approved by General Burnside and President Lincoln.

The Confederate Government has ordered that two captains now in our custody shall be selected for execution in retaliation for this gross barbarity. The order will be speedily executed.

Your papers refer to other cases of parties condemned to death upon the same charge. They are some live or six in number.

In view of the awful vortex into which things are plunging I give you notice that in the event of the execution of these persons retaliation to an equal extent at least will be visited upon your own officers and if that is found ineffectual the number will be increased.

The Great Ruler of nations must judge who is responsible for the initiation of this chapter of horrors.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

Agent of Exchange.

SOURCE: Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 5, page 691.

Related Documents
Court-Martial Findings on T. G. McGraw and William F. Corbin

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