And thereupon the commission sentence him, said Robert C. Kennedy, captain in the military service of the insurgent States, to be hanged by the neck until dead, at such time and place as the general in command of the department may direct, two-thirds of the members concurring therein.
II. The major-general commanding approves the proceedings, finding, and sentence of the court. It is shown by the testimony:
1. That the accused has been an officer in the service of the insurgent States since August, 1861.
2. That he was in the city of New York in disguise, and under a false name, in the month of November, several weeks immediately preceding the attempt to set the city on fire.
3. That he was here for a purpose which he refused to disclose, and that he returned hastily by night to Canada.
4. That he stated in the presence of several persons that he set fire to Barnum's Museum and to one of the "down-town" hotels; and
5. That he was arrested at Detroit in disguise, armed with a revolver, traveling under a false name, and with a passport representing himself to be a loyal citizen.
On proof of these facts he was convicted of acting as a spy and carrying or irregular and illegal warfare. The person who testified to his confession of having set on fire Barnum's Museum and one of the hotels in the lower part of the city was not under duress or an accomplice, was a reluctant witness, and could have had no motive to make a false statement. He is corroborated by other testimony.
The attempt to set fire to the city of New York is one of the greatest atrocities of the age. There is nothing in the annals of barbarism which evinces greater vindictiveness. It was not a mere attempt to destroy the city, but to set fire to crowded hotels and places of public resort, in order to secure the greatest possible destruction of human life. The evidence shows that Barnum's Museum and ten hotels were fired on the evening of the 25th of November, the fires in most of them breaking out in quick succession, and indicating not only deliberate and complex design and concert on the part of the incendiaries, but a cool calculation to create so many conflagrations at the same time as to baffle the efforts of the fire department to extinguish them. In all the buildings fired, not only non-combatants men, but women and children, were congregated in great numbers, and nothing but the most diabolical spirit of revenge could have impelled the incendiaries to act so revoltingly.
The participation of the accused in this inhuman enterprise is a crime, which follows him, and his liability to answer for it is not to be cast off by withdrawing for a time from the jurisdiction within which it was committed. He has not only been quilty of currying on irregular warfare, in violation of the usages of civilized States in the conduct of war, but he has, by outraging every principle of humanity, incurred the highest penalty known to the law.
His escape to Canada was followed in a few days by his return to the United States, again in disguise, with a new name, and personating a loyal citizen, while holding a commission in the service of the insurgents, thus furnishing the highest prima facie evidence that he was acting as a spy. No rebutting evidence was produced on the trail, although it continued twenty-three days, of which fifteen were given to the accused, by adjournments, to procure testimony and prepare his defense. Two papers were rad as a part of his address to the court-one a pledge given to the transportation agent in Canada to return with all