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Letter signed T. Ewing [Thomas Ewing], Lancaster, Ohio, to Major General H. [Henry] W. Halleck, St. Louis, Missouri, January 5, 1862

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Identifier: D04882

Title: Letter signed T. Ewing [Thomas Ewing], Lancaster, Ohio, to Major General H. [Henry] W. Halleck, St. Louis, Missouri, January 5, 1862

Description:

Suggests punishing railroad destroyers as military criminals.



Transcription: Lancaster[?] Ohio Jany 5 / 62


Dear Sir


The ground on which you can treat these RR destroyers as military criminals is, that they are within your lines, in the guise of peaceful citizens, destroying life [and] property and therefore as secret enemies, caught in the warlike act, amenable to martial law — The secessionists cannot except to it for the Tennessee they hang all the bridge burners they catch — and in this case you very truly say, severity in mercy — However all you want is to protect life [and] property and perhaps the best way to do it is this. Try by a court martial all that you have caught — Hang at once two or three of the ringleaders in the presence of their fellows. Sentence a dozen or twenty, or even fifty of the most culpable and reprieve them for a time with the distinct understanding that they will be hanged according to sentence if further depredations are committed by their associates, but that they may hope for mercy if there is order and peace — Discharge the most culpable and let them go home [and] carry the conditions with them, with the assurance that if they themselves are caught again they will find no mercy — and in holding as hostages should be taken to hold from each neighborhood family [and] clique one or more — The scoundrels engaged at the little Platte deserve more severe handling than those you have caught for they deliberately plundered & committed the most cruel indiscriminate murder of men women [and] children —


I am very Respectively


Yours truly,


T. Ewing


Major Genl

H.W. Halleck[Henry W. Halleck]

St Louis Mo

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States
Ohio
Missouri
St Louis

Dates: 1862-01-05

Type(s): Letter

Maker/Creator: Ewing, Thomas, 1829-1896

Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Railroads
Armed Forces
Crime

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http://collections.mohistory.org/resource/167784

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