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[131] decided by General Willich and his friends to appeal to the President. They sent a telegram to a prominent man in Washington, urging him to go at once and lay the matter before Mr. Johnson, requesting him to pardon the boy.

To this there was no reply, and no relief came.

Preparations were made for the execution, and when the day arrived Tom Martin was carefully dressed in a nice suit of clothing, provided by General Willich, and after being bound hand and foot, was placed in a wagon, which was guarded by a company of cavalry, and started for the place of execution.

It was a mournful procession. The men detailed to guard the boy had been accustomed to see him daily about headquarters, and they all loved him. They had listened to his stories about the great Forrest, and of the bravery of his comrades in the Confederate Army.

They looked upon him as an ardent little Southern boy, and treated him with all tenderness. Each of them felt as if he was about to commit a crime which he could not avoid, and for which they were not responsible.

Tom Martin expressed the greatest regret at his fate, but said he was not afraid.

Father Garesche, a priest in charge of one of the churches in Cincinnati, as soon as he heard of the awful fate of the boy, repaired to him, and was his faithful comforter during all that ordeal. Father Garesche was a distinguished prelate; his brother, Colonel Garesche, was Chief of Staff to General Rosecrans, and was killed at Stone River, near Murfreesboro. He, therefore, felt more than an ordinary interest in the little soldier.

The procession moved out on the road leading to what is known as Walnut Hill. To the south of the road and in a ravine, as the cortege turned to the right, stood in solemn silence a regiment of infantry, facing the road, and two companies on either flank, thereby forming a hollow square.

Within this square stood a squad of sixteen soldiers at carry arms. The wagon moved up opposite, and the poor boy was taken out and told to kneel. Tom Martin asked that he be unbound, and the cords were removed and his hands fell by his side, but there was not a tremor in his body. His eyes were bandaged with a handkerchief and the squad of soldiers, with fifteen loaded rifles, faced him at eight paces distant.

General Willich, early that morning, telegraphed to Mr. Stanton, Secretary of War, imploring him to save the boy, and gave orders

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