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This group of newspaper articles has coverage of Mosby's retaliation for the murder of his men at Front Royal and another area of Mosby's Confederacy (I don't recall the location). This is a report on the (in)famous "death lottery" and its aftermath. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dubuque (Iowa) Democratic Herald - November 17th, 1863 The train is off the track this side of Warrenton Junction. Cause unknown. It is feared Mosby has a hand in it. ++++++++++++++++++++ The Richmond Dispatch - November 15th, 1864 The Yankees on the Manassas Gap railroad--Mosby's operations. An official dispatch, received at the War Department yesterday, states that the enemy are removing the rails from the Manassas Gap to the Winchester railroad, and that since the enemy occupied the Manassas road he (Mosby) had killed, wounded and captured over six hundred of their men, and captured an equal number of their horses. ++++++++++++++++++++ Syracuse (NY) Daily Courier And Union – November 15th, 1864 New York, Nov. 14 – The Herald correspondent with Sheridan relates the following (illegible) case of barbarity.
There is now lying in the 19th corps hospital at Winchester, Corporal James S. Bennett, Co. D, 21 Michigan cavalry, who on Monday last was captured along with six others of the same regiment by a gang of Moseby’s men, near Berryville.
The men in command of the guerrillas sentenced the whole party to be hung and three of them were strung up immediately. Preparations were being made to hang the other three, when a rebel Lieutenant became impatient and order them to be shot. One of the men secreted himself in a hole and finally succeeded in escaping unhurt. The others were then shot, left for dead on the ground. Bennett was shot twice, once by a private through the left shoulder; but that not being sufficient to kill him, the Lieutenant placed a revolver to his head and sent a bullet through his left temple just behind his left eye, and it came out on the right side, when he immediately fell.
Strange to say, however, Bennett was not killed, and there is every prospect that he will ultimately recover and that the sight of his left eye will be saved. ++++++++++++++++++++ The Huntingdon Globe – November 16th, 1864 Another of Moseby’s Outrages
Four Union Soldiers Murdered in Retaliation
Moseby’s career in the rear of Sheridan’s army continues unchecked. He is constantly capturing our straggling parties, and such trains as happen from their smallness to be left unguarded. His last exploit was a most daring one, and resulted in the cold blooded murder of four Union soldiers. According to a correspondent writing from Winchester on the 7th inst., Captain Browster, of the 17th Pennsylvania, his orderly, a man named Sowle, another soldier and a citizen, were captured on Saturday last, near the village of Newtown, on the turnpike. They were on their way to the camp of the cavalry at Cedar Creek, and were but a short distance ahead of one hundred cavalry escorting Gen. Torbert. They had passed through the village, and when about half a mile beyond, a squad of ten or fifteen men, wearing blue overcoats, came onto the road. Captain Brewster told Sowle to ride on and see who they were. He rode up to the party, as directed, and asked to what regiment they belonged. No direct answer was given, but they questioned him closely, and asked him which way he was going and who was behind him. He was satisfied they were rebels from the fact that they had revolvers drawn and concealed under the capes of their overcoats, but he had no opportunity to communicate the fact. Captain Brewster was thrown off his guard by seeing half a dozen mail carriers ahead on the pike, and therefore rode up to Sowle, when the rebels – as they proved to be – under the command of Lieut. Haste, closed in upon the party, presented their revolvers, and told them to surrender, which they, of course, did. – At this time, Gen. Torbert’s escort was not 100 rods distant. The captives were hurried behind a hill not more than 25 rods from the road, and one of the rebel soldiers even rode upon the hill to see Gen. Torbert pass. The prisoners were searched upon the spot, and nearly everything in the shape of money and clothing was taken from them. Captain Brewster had about $1,200 on his person, and Sowle about $40. Each of the other men, also, had some money about them. Sowle concealed two bills in his shirt collar – he supposed one was a twenty and the other a ten dollar bill. When starting for the place of execution the following day a young miss, who had furnished him with pen, ink and paper to write a few parting words to his family, stood hear and he gave her the $20. He said he though her very good-looking, and believing that he would have no further use for the money, gave it away. She thanked him for the money and invited him to call if he came that way again! – They were then marched to Ashby’s Gap and thence through the Gap to Rectortown on the Manassas Gap Railroad. Soon after their arrival here, Moseby came up with about seven hundred men. The prisoners, all told, number twenty-seven. They had been brought in from different points. They were ordered to fall in line, two deep, in front of an old school house. Five of the prisoners were citizens, four newsboys and Captain Brewster’s brother, and these were liberated and told to stand aside, leaving twenty-two in line. Moseby’s major than said there were seven men out of the twenty-two to be hanged for the seven men executed by Gen. Custer, near Front Royal, and that the selection would be made by lot. – Twenty-two pieces of paper were placed in a hat, seven of them being marked, and the others blanks. The hat was passed along the line, and those who drew prizes gave their names, and stepped one side in charge of Lieut. Haste, who was detailed to conduct them forthwith to the place of execution.
The drawers of the first and third prizes, a lieutenant in the 5th New York Heavy Artillery, and private Frank Hooker, of the 5th Michigan Cavalry, having befriended a rebel family in the vicinity were set free, and privates Marvin and Bennett, of the 2d New York Cavalry, substituted for them. The death roll then read thus: Charles E. Marvin, 2d New York Cavalry, corporal and acting commissary sergeant; Corporal James Bennett, 2d New York Cavalry; George H. Sowle, 5th Michigan Cavalry, Sergeant Dodge, 1st Vermont; L. H. Hoffnagle, 153d York, quartermaster’s department, 19th Army Corps; No. 7 supposed to belong to 4th West Virginia Infantry, or 23d Ohio, name unknown. Lieut. Smith having been detailed to murder the party, was directed to carry the sentence into effect on Sunday, one half mile west of Berryville on the pike leading to Winchester where the bodies of the men would be discovered by our troops. There was a little rain falling, the night (Sunday night) was dark, and as the prisoners marched along tied to a rope, each end held by two horsemen, one before and one behind them, there seemed no chance of escape. Sowle was the first man on the rope. As the party moved into the woods, he discovered a hole in the ground large enough to conceal his body. Slipping the cord from his wrist, he dropped quietly into the hole; the rear guard passed right by without noticing him; the prisoners were halted not ten feet from Sowle’s place of concealment; preparations were being made for the execution; the fatal spot had been reached; Sowle in his hiding place heard the guard say that one prisoner had escaped. Quick as thought he bounded out of his hole across the pike and into a piece of woods where he climbed a tree not forty rods away. Immediate pursuit was made and shots were fired, but it was dark, and he could n to be traced; he escaped. The guards now confined attentions to the remainder. Three were hung to the limb of a tree, and the other three begging to be shot, their request was granted. One of them, Bennett, was shot through the head, and instantly killed. Marvin had a revolver snapped at his temple. No explosion following, Marvin who is a powerful man, quick as thought, knocked his would-be murderer down, and running for his life, reached a piece of woods where his pursuers strove in vain to find him. He, with Sowle entered Winchester on Monday morning, through the kindness of two Union citizens. Hoffnagel was shot through the elbow, but had the good sense to fall and pretend to be dead. After he was shot, the rebel lieutenant walked up to him and kicking him to discover whether life remained, was satisfied that it did not, remarking, in answer to a question from one of his men, ‘Oh yes, he is dead.’ He was not, however and when the rebels had retired, walked to a house near by, where he was well treated and afterwards sent to Winchester. These men all describe Moseby as a pompous man, greatly desirous of the life of General Custer, against whom he entertains a special hate. –
His men are nearly all young and mounted on splendid horses. The principal part of the command was about making a raid on Fairfax Court House and vicinity, leaving one company to annoy our line of communication between Winchester and Cedar Creek. Lieutenant Smith boasted that Early would not permit Sheridan to remain in the Valley more than four days longer. In going to the gap, and returning to the place of execution, the prisoners were not permitted to travel on the public roads, but were taken across fields and through byroads. The guard, seemingly, were on the lookout at all time for our cavalry. Mosby’s men expressed a wish to see President Lincoln re-elected, as the wanted to see the ‘thing’ fought out now. They did not believe that the North could whip the South, nor the South whip the North – it was a draw game. ++++++++++++++++++++