How the rebels brand.--Branding deserters, as performed at Castle Thunder in Richmond
, is described as a beautiful operation, and as humane as beautiful.
The culprit is fastened to a large table, with his face downward, and a large “D” scarred on his posteriors.
A plain bar of iron, about an inch in diameter, narrowed down a little at the point, is heated to incandescence, and used as a sign-painter would use his brush in lettering, only in a very slow and bungling manner.
A greasy smoke with a sickly stench arises, accompanied with crackling sounds and the groans of the victim as the hot iron sinks deep into the flesh.
On pretence of rendering the mark of disgrace plain and indelible, but in reality to torture the unfortunate culprit, the hot iron is drawn many times through the wound, making it larger and deeper, until the victim, unable to endure the excruciation longer, faints, and is carried away.
The operation is always performed by old Keppard, the executioner of Kellogg
, the greatest demon in human form outside of Pluto
's realms.--Louisville Journal, January 12