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Pickett in N.C. (Part 1) - Over 13 days he hung 22 men, shot 52 others, for desertion


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Pickett in N.C. (Part 1) - Over 13 days he hung 22 men, shot 52 others, for desertion

Outline of the facts:

Beech Grove, NC jan 1864

53 members of the Union 2nd North Carolina Infantry, Co. F were captured by
Confederate forces under the command of Gen. George E Pickett.

They had been in the Confederate brigade of Gen. Nethercutt before deserting to the
Union army.

The Federals believed the captured men should be treated as POWs.

Confederates argued that the men had simply deserted.

Pickett chose to treat them as deserters. In keeping with Confederate concerns
over desertion in North Carolina, Pickett intended to set an example that would
staunch the flow of desertion.

22 were publicly hanged in Kinston, North Carolina, 2.2.1864 - 2.15.1864

This incident brought 2 yrs of litigation and controversy between the
North, the South, and Gen. Pickett.
Early in the war, deserters from the Confederate army hid in the natural havens in the swamps
of eastern North Carolina and the mountains to the west. Desertion was not a crime in the state.
Citizens who shielded d
eserters felt safe from arrest for hiding them.  :snip:https://civilwartalk.com/threads/pickett-in-n-c-part-1-over-13-days-he-hung-22-men-shot-52-others-for-desertion.196867/


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Pickett in N.C. (Part 2) His crimes; Union response; Pickett hides in Montreal, Canada

When the time for the execution arrived, the men of Hoke's Brigade, including the Confederate
regiment from which Haskett and Jones had deserted, formed a hollow square around the gallows. Beyond the square, a crowd of off-duty soldiers and civilians gathered. Although the
proceedings were under the immediate direction of General Hoke, General Pickett was in
attendance. Haskett and Jones were marched out to the gallows, which was located in a field
within full view of the residents of Kinston. Captain Adams read the orders of the court-martial
court-martial; then King and another soldier placed the nooses around the necks of the men
and they were hanged. King was later observed cutting the buttons off the uniforms of the men.

Pickett wasted little time in bringing more of the prisoners to justice. The court that had
met the previous day on the Dover road reconvened immediately upon arrival in Kinston to
hear the cases of 5 more of the Beech Grove captives. John L. Stanley, Lewis Bryan, Mitchell
Busick, and William Irving, all deserters from Nethercutt's Battalion, and Amos Armyett of
Whitford's Battalion were brought before the board, found guilty and received the same
sentence as Haskett and Jones. The date for carrying out the sentence was indefinite: "to be
carried into effect, under the supervision of Brigadier General Hoke, and in the presense
of his brigade, at such time and place as he may direct, in twenty-four hours after the
publication of the .   


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The Encyclopedia of Confederate Generals 

(Regnery History, 2022) by Samuel Mitcham

A review of The Encyclopedia of Confederate Generals (Regnery History, 2022) by Samuel Mitcham

The valor of the Confederate Army is one of the greatest stories in American history. Southerners needed brilliant leaders because they faced such overwhelming odds. They were outnumbered four to one and outgunned a hundred to one.

The author’s purpose of the book is to make the reader feel as if they came to know every Confederate general, who he was, what he did, and how well he did his job.

I found it insightful to read of generals who performed well at certain command levels but not as well as they advanced through the ranks. Some carried through skillfully as regimental commanders but not as brigade commanders. Others engaged in duties competently as brigade commanders but poorly as division commanders. Certain generals served well as division commanders but not as corps commanders.

A good many generals were credible commanders but couldn’t get along with others.

One hundred thirty generals practiced law before and after the war. One such general, Leroy Pope Walker, was a fine attorney who successfully represented several celebrities; his most recognized case was winning an acquittal for his client, outlaw and bank robber Frank James, in 1883.

The health of some generals was shattered by four years of arduous service.

On July 21, 1861, President Jefferson Davis was on the field of battle in the First Battle of Manassas and wanted to pursue the Union Army after it was routed. General Joseph E. Johnston advised against it, and Davis did not overrule him – a huge blunder. Davis later said it was the worst mistake he made during the war.

Jefferson Davis cited Albert Sidney Johnston’s death as the turning point of Confederate fortunes during the war.  :snip:   


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