Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January 20, 1862 - Report of the killing of 20 negro teamsters near Murfreesboro

January 20, 1862 - Report of the killing of 20 negro teamsters near Murfreesboro
The wanton murder near Murfreesboro of 20 negro teamsters, who were in the service of the Unionists, appeared to be taken as a matter of course by the advocates of the South in this country. We must presume that they know their friends, and so no reason [is] to be supplied. And yet, there circumstances in this case which should make them anxious for a reputation with which they have so far involved their own. These negroes were not killed in the pursuit of any military purpose. They were not in the battlefield; they were not making armed resistance. They were on the turnpike-road, driving their wagons, when the Confederate party came up. The trains which they were conducting were captured, and it was after that object had been gained that the negroes were taken out and shot in cold blood.
It is important to notice that their butchery was perpetrated, not in some error of Secessia, by agents out of the reach of authority or public opinion: it was the work of officer of the great Confederate army of the West, under the orders of Gen. Bragg. There were nothing in the attitudes of the negroes to take a sudden retaliation necessary; we must, therefore, assume that their murder was the effect of a previous determination.
We forbear to anticipate the apologies that may be offered for this atrocious slaughter of men who had committed no crime to deserve death. Travelers who have visited the slave states say that if ever England should [be] recognized the South, and come into close intimacy with their people, we shall all be astounded at the character of them whom we have chosen to patronize. It seems that we have not to wait for the contingency. The inevitable hour when the true issues of this war were to be disclosed has come, and the South unfurls the black flag – its own flag-accordingly -. Daily News, Jan. 20, 1862.
As cited in: Colonel Percy Howard, The Barbarities of the Rebels[1]

[1]Colonel Percy Howard, The Barbarities of the Rebels, as shown in their Cruelty to the Federal Wounded and Prisoners; in their Outrages on Union Men; in the Murder of Negroes, and their Unmanly Conduct Throughout the Rebellion, (Providence, R.I.: Printed by the author, 1863.), pp. 22-23.

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