choose between joining the Southern
army or having all the hair shaved off their heads, having a number of lashes on their bare backs, and being put in prison for 80 days upon a diet of bread and water.
Five of the men were true to the Union
--the five who told this story; the others (25) joined the army, but intend to escape.
The five men had all the hair shaved off their heads, and their backs were terribly mutilated.
They escaped from prison and ran all the way to the river, and got aboard the boat which brought them hither.
Another young man, by the name of James, told father his story.
He is a deserter.
He said the secessionists tried to force him and four companions to join their army.
Three of them said they would not do it, that they preferred death; and all three of them were hung on the nearest tree, in the presence of all the soldiers and their comrades.
The fourth one called them cowards, thieves, traitors, and taunted and cursed them, when they poured cold tar over him and set fire to it
. Mr. James
joined the army.
At night he was awakened by some one creeping over his body.
He asked what they were doing.
They said they were going to desert.
He joined them.
When he got outside of the camp he ran until he came to a railroad station.
It so happened that he had money enough to take him to Memphis
, where he got on the boat and never stopped until he reached our place.
He does not know .what became of those that left with him, as he ran faster than they and left them behind.
At the time he was forced to join the army he was at Pensacola
, and it was there where the three men were hung and the one was burned.--Boston Cultivator, May 25