Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hangings in Kinston, NC-- Part 1

From the July 2012 North Carolina Our State Magazine "A General's Fatal Anger" by Philip Gerard.

Fifty-three Union soldiers of the 2nd NC Union regiment had been captured in the failed Confederate attack on New Bern in February 1864 and it was discovered that two of its members had formerly been in Confederate units.

Confederate commander Major General George Pickett, angered about his loss, was further antagonized about this new discovery and held a court-matial that found the men guilty of desertion and sentenced to death by hanging in Kinston.  No rope could be found so a coil from the CSS Neuse ironclad was used and the two met their death.

After that, Union Major General John J. Peck, in charge of the Department of North Carolina, found out about it and sent a letter to Pickett reminding him that Lincoln had ordered that for every Union soldier executed in a manner not keeping with the laws of war, that a Confederate captive would then be executed.  Pickett responds that he then will hang ten Union soldiers for every Confederate thus executed.

More Confederate deserters are found amongst the captured 2nd NC infantry until a total of 18 were now under sentence of death.  Five are hung in Kinston on February 12th.

More to Come.  --Old Secesh

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