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[313] (Steele) thought that nobody, excepting his own military family, knew,) in telegraphic characters.

Of course, he was tried and condemned as a spy. In view of his extreme youth, General Steele was at first unwilling to execute him, and he paid him a visit in the prison, and offered him his life, on the condition that he would tell what Federal officer had furnished him such intelligence as his papers disclosed. Young Dodd did not deny that he had received aid in gathering the information, but positively refused to inculpate any one else. He had served as telegraph operator for a short time, and knew how to use the characters. On the eighth day of January, 1864, he was hung just in front of the main entrance to St. John's College, his alma mater, after again refusing to give General Steele any information as to his accomplices. General Steele approached him while the rope was around his neck, and said, ‘David, I know that one of my own personal staff must have given you a part of that information, for nobody else knew it. Give me his name and I will give you your life.’ With perfect calmness, but in tones of the deepest resolution, he answered, ‘General Steele, I don't blame you for what I am about to suffer. I thank you for your great kindness to me while under arrest, but I will not betray a friend, even to save my own life; and “my only regret is, I have but one life to give to my country;” ’ thus repeating the last words of Nathan Hale of Revolutionary fame.

He was hung. His body was buried in Mt. Holly cemetery, and the ladies of Little Rock have erected a marble monument to his memory.


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