Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 27.djvu/326
318 Southern Historical Society Paper*.
the coat of one of the murdered men declared that " this would be the fate of Mosby and all his men." Since the murder of my men, not less than 700 prisoners, including many officers of high rank, captured from your army by this command, have been forwarded to Richmond, but the execution of my purpose of retaliation was de- ferred in order, as far as possible, to confine its operation to the men of Custer and Powell. Accordingly, on the 6th instant, seven of your men were by my order executed on the Valley pike, your high- way of travel. Hereafter any prisoners falling into my hands will be treated with the kindness due to their condition, unless some new act of barbarity shall compel me reluctantly to adopt a course of policy repulsive to humanity.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, JOHN S. MOSBY,
This letter was sent to Sheridan by Lieutenant John Russell, of Clarke county. It was also sent to the Richmond papers to be pub- lished, as I knew it would be copied by the Northern papers. I wanted Sheridan's soldiers to know that, if they desired to fight under the black flag, I would meet them.
WINCHESTER, VA., Nov. 7, 1864. Lieutenant- Colonel C. KINGSBURY, JR., A. A. G., &c.:
COLONEL, I have the honor to state that G. H. Soule, com- pany G. 1 5th Michigan cavalry (Alger's), this day entered our lines from the direction of Berry ville, and reported as follows: He was taken prisoner by soldiers, of Mosby 's command on the macadam- ized road near Newtown, and by them taken to a camp on the Win- chester and Berryville turnpike There he was placed with a squad of Federal prisoners numbering about twenty-two, and with them compelled to draw lots for the purpose of determining upon a cer- tain number who should be hung. Of the twenty-three prisoners, seven were to be executed in retaliation for a like number of Mos- by 's command who were hung by General Custer. Of the seven upon whom the lot fell, three were hung, two shot, and two escaped. The wounded men one of whom escaped alive by feigning death are being cared for by the Union families in the vicinity of the camp. The men who escaped have reported at this post. The accompany- ing note was found by a citizen who cut down and buried the bodii s, pinned to the clothing of one of the men who was hanged. Captain