to dismount, and form ranks as preparatory to fighting on foot. A detachment of the First Louisiana Cavalry was then sent to relieve the horse-holders and to take the horses from the ground.
In order to divide the late Second Rhode Island Cavalry into five different squads, five non-commissioned officers from each company were placed at intervals of 10 paces from each other, on a line at right angles with right company guides. The roll was called by the first sergeants; the men were placed as directed on the left of the non-commissioned officers, in which manner they were marched off, and formed on the left of the different companies of the First Louisiana Cavalry. Orders were given be me to each of the officers of the First Louisiana Cavalry after the parade was dismissed that the men should not leave the camp of the companies to which they had been assigned.
On the following morning (August 30, 1863), Lieutenant Thomas Maher, regimental commissary and acting regimental quartermaster, who was charged with the reception of the property from the Second Rhode Island Cavalry, informed me that it was impossible for him to proceed with the work, as horses, after he had received them, were being cast loose from the picket rope by the enlisted men of the late Second Rhode Island Cavalry, who were also carrying off the other public property.
To investigate the matter, I went myself to the camp of the late Second Rhode Island Cavalry, and found, as near as I could judge, all the enlisted men who had been assigned to the First Louisiana Cavalry the evening previous assembled in group, sitting on the ground in the center of the camp. I rode up to them, and quietly ordered them to take up their packs and join their respective companies. Not a man offered to obey the order. Two of them arose, and used the following language, or words to this effect: "Colonel, we have made up our minds that, as we enlisted int he Second Rhode Island Cavalry, we will, by God, serve in no other. We will not go. Do as you like; but, by God, we won't serve." A murmur of assent ran through the crowd, but not a man moved.
I immediately ordered out the First Louisiana Cavalry, one company mounted, three on foot. The mounted company was ordered to encircle the camp, and the three on foot to form a line facing the mutineers. I then rode up to the mutineers, taking with me a German interpreter, who, after I had addressed them myself in English, Spanish, and French, and ordering them to join the companies to which they had been assigned, communicated the same order to them in German. Not a man of the mitneers stirred. I then told them emphatically that if they did not rise up and form line, I should order them to be fired on. They then arose, and I picked out the two ringleaders, one of whom had used mutinous and seditious language the evening previous at the consolidation. Some decisive action was necessary. Some of the lat Rhode Islanders had deserted the same morning. Their character was notorious for lawlessness and want of discipline. nearly three of the companies present of the First Louisiana Cavalry were recruits who had not been a month in camp. I knew that no guard could hold these Rhode Islanders in camp. Imprisonment they did not fear. It was reported to me that they courted being sent to some place of confinement in a body, and I was certain that nothing but fear would prevent them from turning into a band of marauders, which would completely demoralize the First Louisiana Cavalry, cause the orders for the department to fall to the ground, and make military law and discipline a farce. I chose severe all instantaneous measures. I ordered two companies of the First Louisiana Cavalry, on foot, to form line on the wings and at right angles with the line of mutineers. I wrote the following penciled order in the saddle, appointing Adjt. E. Hall provost-marshal, and placed the third company at his disposal:
"First Lieutenant Hall, adjutant of the First Louisiana Cavalry, is hereby appointed provost-marshal of the day, and is charged as such with the execution of Private Richard Murphy, Boston alias Richard Smith, and of Private Frederick Freeman, alias William Davis, mutineers - a military necessity.
"Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding First Louisiana Cavalry."
In accordance with his order, and within half an hour of the calling out of the First Louisiana Cavalry to suppress the mutiny, the two ringleaders, Privates Richard Murphy, alias Dick Smith, and Frederick Freeman, alias William Davis, were shot to death in front of the whole command.
By the JUDGE-ADVOCATE:
Question. Were the 2 men who were shot the men who used the mutinous language?
Answer. They were. The smaller of the two having also used seditious language the evening previous.