War of the Rebellion: Serial 118 Page 0473 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

of the men when bearing a flag of truce. If there are any written charges against him in your office or any evidence by which the charge can be established I have to request you will forward it to this office, to the end that the case may be investigated.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Third Infantry, Commissary-General of Prisoners.


Lieutenant Colonel J. R. PAUL,

Commissary of Subsistence, Fourteenth Army Corps:

I beg leave to tender to you the circumstances and facts concerning a detachment of men sent from Shelbyville, Tenn., one year ago this April, 1863, with a view to collect if possible their loss in money and rations when absent. On the 7th day of April, 1862, a request was made by Brigadier General O. M. Mitchel, then commanding Third Division, Department of the Ohio, at Shelbyville, Tenn., that the several commanders of brigades through their intermediate, commanders, colonels, should request of the captains of their respective companies to furnish a detachment of men (which should be a voluntary act on the part of the men) for the purpose of engaging in a hazardous expedition, such as scouting in the enemy's country and endeavor to effect a purpose of material aid to the Government in the form of cutting off communications between Atlanta, Ga., and Knoxville, Tenn., Richmond, Va., and Corinth, Miss.

After due consideration of the matter twenty-two volunteered their services from the different regiments and companies and left Shelbyville, Tenn., the 7th day of April, 1862, all under command of a Mr. [J. J.] Andrews of Kentucky, noted for his daring and skill, having been engaged in such exploits before. Mr. Andrews was empowered with the authority sufficient to arm and equip them as the necessity of the expedition should demand, and by order of their commander, Mr. Andrews, they furnished themselves each with a Colt revolver and other necessary equipments, &c. In due time they met at or near Atlanta, Ga., as formerly agreed upon, and took possession of a locomotive, tender and two box cars, uncoupling at the time the regular train hands were at breakfast, and started toward Chattanooga, Tenn., with the view of burning certain bridges and thereby accomplish the design contemplated in the start. But by making too hasty movements or not fully taking into consideration the necessary precautions, and in consequence of a speedy pursuit their attempts were foiled, and it resulted in the capture of the whole party after making fruitless efforts to escape. They were all lodged in jail in Chattanooga, Tenn., and from there taken to Knoxville, Tenn., and there eight of them were tried by a Confederate court-martial, sentenced and taken to Atlanta, Ga., and hung amidst the howling and jeers of a lawless mob of rebels.

The balance were lodged in jail in Atlanta to await trial and there remained confined over six months. They appealed to the provost-marshal of the place at various times to know what was going to be done with them, and after learning they were to be subjected to the same kind of treatment as their comrades a plot was contemplated and resolutions formed to break jail and escape if possible the treacherous designs of the rebel authorities and bloodthirsty mob who were present and threatened them daily, which was carried into effect the evening of the 16th day of October, 1862. Keys were made of the bones taken