Doc. 65.-execution of W. B. Mumford.
New-Orleans, June 7, 1862.Early yesterday morning it was announced that William B. Mumford, a man sentenced to death for tearing down the United States flag, hoisted on the Mint by Commodore Farragut upon the occupation of the city by the Union forces, would expiate his offence on the gallows. Crowds were soon wending their way toward the Mint, where all doubts were dispelled by the ghastly spectacle of a gallows projecting from a window in the second story of that building, fronting on Esplanade street, directly under, as it were, the flag-staff that had borne the colors in question. In the mean time the unfortunate man was awaiting his fate in the Custom-House. On the evening of the fifth instant, three days ago, the order of execution was read to him by Deputy Provost-Marshal Stafford, he being charged with carrying into effect the details of the sentence in consequence of the illness of Provost-Marshal French. The document reads as follows:
Mumford exhibited little emotion, and comported himself with great coolness and self-possession. At a quarter before ten o'clock A. M., the prisoner arrived at the Mint and alighted. It was noticed his eye immediately sought out the scaffold. He gazed at it for a moment, and then, naturally turning away his head, entered the building through the portico and was immediately conveyed by two officers into a private apartment. In a few moments a large black cossack was brought in, and he was invested with it, his neck-handkerchief and collar were removed, and it was announced to him that it was time to die. Getting up, he walked firmly out on the scaffold, and stood in the bright sunlight with thousands of eyes fixed upon him. The order of execution was then read amidst a breathless silence. Upon concluding it, he was asked if he had anything to say to the assembled multitude. He signified that he had. He then addressing the crowd, stated, in substance, that he was a native of North-Carolina, but had been a citizen of New-Orleans for many years. That the offence for which he was condemned to die was committed under excitement, and that he did not consider that he was suffering justly. He conjured all who heard him to act justly to all men, to rear their children properly, and that when they met death they would meet it firmly. He was prepared to die; and as he had never wronged any one he hoped to receive mercy. At thirteen minutes before eleven A. M., after a moment's pause, that seemed an age to every one present, the signal was given, the platform, loaded with iron to accelerate its fall, swung heavily down with a sullen crash, and in a few minutes the soul of Wm. B. Mumford passed into the presence of his Maker. During all this time a vast crowd swayed to and fro in front of the Mint, and thronged the levee, every eye fixed upon the awful scene, while along the long line mounted men galloped, preserving order. Upon the consummation of the sentence the assemblage quietly dispersed to their homes. After hanging twenty-five minutes, Dr. W. T. Black, Acting-Surgeon to Gen. Shepley's staff, and Dr. Geo. A. Black, Agent of United States Sanitary Commission, approached the body and ascertained the heart had ceased to beat. It was allowed, however, to remain suspended about twenty minutes longer, when it was cut down and placed in a coffin prepared for the purpose. At five o'clock P. M. it was conveyed to the Firemen's Cemetery, and there interred. Requiescat in pace.headquarters Department of the Gulf, New-Orleans, June 5.special order no 70. William B. Mumford, a citizen of New-Orleans, having been convicted before the military commission of treason and an overt act thereof in tearing down the United States flag from a public building of the United States, for the purpose of inciting other evil-minded persons to further resistance to the laws and arms of the United States, after said flag was placed there by Commodore Farragut, of the United States navy: It is ordered that he be executed, according to the sentence of the said military commission, on Saturday, June seventh instant, between the hours of eight A. M. and twelve M., under the direction of the Provost-Marshal of the district of New-Orleans; and for so doing this shall be his sufficient warrant.By command of Major-General Butler, General Commanding.
--N. O. Delta, June 8.