War of the Rebellion: Serial 035 Page 0425 Chapter XXXV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- UNION.

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8th day of June, 1863, come inside the lines of the Army of the United States, at Franklin, Tenn., wearing the uniform of Federal officers, with a pass purporting to be signed by Major-General Rosecrans, commanding Department of the Cumberland, and represented to Colonel J. P. Baird, commanding post of Franklin, that they were in the service of the United States; all this for the purpose of getting information of the strength of the United States forces and convening it to the enemies of the United States now in arms against the United States Government.


Captain Company G, Eighth-fifth Indiana infantry.

Some evidence having been heard in support of the charge and specifications, the prisoners made the following statement:

That they came inside of the lines of the United States Army, at Franklin, Tenn., about dark on the June, 1863, wearing the uniform they then had on their persons, which was that of Federal officers; that they went to the headquarters of Colonel J. P. Baird, commanding forces at Franklin, and represented to him that they were Colonel Auton, inspector, just sent from Washington City to overlook the inspection of the several departments of the West, and Major Dunlop, his assistant, and exhibited to him an order from Adjutant-General Townsend assigning him to that duty, an order from Major-General Rosecrans, countersigned by Brigadier-General Garfield, chief of staff, asking him to inspect his outposts, and a pass through all lines from General Rosecrans; that he hold Colonel Baird he had missed the road from Murfreesborough to this point, got too near Eagleville, and run into rebel pickets, had his orderly shot, and lost his coat containing his money; that he wanted some money and a pass to Nashville; that, when arrested by Colonel Watkins, Sixth Kentucky Cavalry, after examination they admitted that they were in the rebel army, and that his (the colonel's) true name was Lawrence Orton Williams;* that he had been in the Second Regular Cavalry, Army of the United States, once on General Scott's staff in Mexico, and was now a colonel in the rebel army, and Lieutenant Peter was his adjutant; that he came in our lines knowing his fate, if taken, but asking mercy for his adjutant.

The court having maturely considered the case, after hearing all the evidence, together with the statements of the prisoners, do find them, viz, Colonel Lawrence Auton Williams and Lieutenant [Walter G.] Peter, officers of the Confederate Army, guilty of the charge of being spies found within the lines of the United States Army at Franklin, Ten., on the 8th day of June, 1863.


Colonel Ninth Pennsylvania Cavalry, President of the Commission.


Lieutenant of Engineers, Judge-Advocate.

[Indorsement Numbers 1.]

The finding is approved, and, by order of Major-General Rosecrans, the prisoners will be executed immediately by hanging by the neck till they are dead.

Captain Alexander, provost-marshal, will carry the sentence into execution.


Colonel, Commanding Post.

[Indorsement No. 2.]

HEADQUARTERS POST, Franklin, Tenn., June 9, 1863.

Captain J. H. Alexander, Seventh Kentucky Regiment Cavalry, provost-marshal of Franklin, Tenn., by virtue of above proceedings and order, carried the sentence into execution by hanging prisoners by the neck until they were dead.


Captain and Provost-Marshal.


* His name in the United States service was William Orton Williams; but see p. 804.