June18, 1862. Letter from Survivors to Jefferson Davis

ATLANTA, June 18, 1862.

 His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President of the Confederate States of America.

SIR: We are the survivors(*) of the party that took the engine at Big Shanty on the 12th of April last. Our commander, Andrews, and seven of our comrades have been executed. We all (with the exception of Andrews) were regularly detailed from our regiments in perfect ignorance of where we were going and what we were to do. We were ordered to obey Andrews, and everything we did was done by his orders, he only telling his plans when he wished us to execute them. In this we are no more to blame than any Northern soldier, for any one of them in our circumstances would have been obliged to do just as we did. For fuller details we refer to the evidence in the cases that have been tried. No real harm was done, and as far as thought and intention is concerned we are perfectly innocent. Oh, it is hard to die a disgraceful and ignominious death; to leave our wives, our children, our brothers and sisters and parents without any consolation. Give this matter your most kind and merciful consideration. Give us that mercy you yourself hope to receive from the Judge of all. We will all take an oath not to fight or do anything against the Confederacy. If this cannot be done at least spare our lives until the war is closed, if we have to remain in prison until that time.

Wilson [W.] Brown, Company F, Twenty-first Ohio Volunteers; William Bensinger, Company G, Twenty-first Ohio Volunteers; Elihu H. Mason, Company K, Twenty-first Ohio Volunteers; John A. Wilson, Company C, Twenty-first Ohio Volunteers; John R. Porter, Company G, Twenty-first Ohio Volunteers; Mark Wood, Company C, Twenty-first Ohio Volunteers; Robert Buffum, Company H, Twenty-first Ohio Volunteers; William Knight, Company E, Twenty-first Ohio Volunteers; William Pittenger, Company G, Second Ohio Volunteers; Daniel A. Dorsey, Company H, Thirty-third Ohio Volunteers; Jacob Parrott, Company K, Thirty-third Ohio Volunteers; William [H.] Reddick, Company B, Thirty-third Ohio Volunteers; M. J. Hawkins, Company A, Thirty-third Ohio Volunteers.

The war of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies; Series 2 - Volume 4, 1899, U.S. Government Printing Office

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