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[311] monthly periodical, The St. John's College Record, published and edited by our students, requested me to write for their paper, a series of articles, giving a history of the college, and of some of its prominent alumni. In the course of these articles I gave a detailed account of the apprehension, conviction and execution, as a Confederate spy, of David O. Dodd, an ex-student of the college, and whose tragic death had been embalmed in verse by Fannie Green Borland, the gifted poetess of the West, under the caption of ‘The Nathan Hale of Arkansas.’ I have recently endeavored to find a file of that paper, from which I wished to extract the account there given, and send it to you. I have been unable to procure it, and so will write it out again for your use, as my memory may best serve me.

On the 10th day of September, 1863, the Confederate commander of this district, Major-General Sterling Price, evacuated Little Rock, and went into winter-quarters eighteen miles west of Camden, on the Ouachita river. The enemy, under Major-General Steele, occupied our capital on the afternoon of the same day, and at once established garrisons at several points on Arkansas river. The father of David O. Dodd, our hero, had refugeed with his family and effects to Texas before the fall of Little Rock. In November of that year, he sent his son David, a youth just seventeen years of age, back to Arkansas to settle up some unfinished business in Saline county, their late home, about fifteen miles southwest of Little Rock. While he knew it would be hazardous for him to venture so near the Union lines in person, he thought that there could be no risk in sending his son, who had not reached military age. Of course David could not pass the Confederate pickets on Saline river without a pass from Confederate headquarters. General James F. Fagan was at that time in command of the Confederate cavalry, with headquarters in Camden, on the Ouachita, some ninety miles south of Little Rock. General Fagan's home was in Saline county, and the General had known young Dodd from his infancy. He promptly gave him a pass to go beyond the Confederate lines, and jocularly remarked to him as he handed it to him, ‘Now, David, you know every foot of country about Little Rock, and, as a return for this pass, I shall expect you to go into Little Rock, inform yourself as to the position, numbers, and designs of the enemy, and report to me on your way back to Texas.’ General Fagan knew him to be brave, patriotic, and trustworthy. He

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James F. Fagan (3)
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