This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 ‘You surprise me, General Hooker; what do you mean?’ ‘Why, sir, on my return to the city I found my administration of this Department had been interfered with; that Martin, the guerrilla, whom I had ordered shot, had not been shot; that Mr. Stanton had suspended my order. I telegraphed him, demanding why he interfered. He replied that it was in response to yours and Judge Stello's telegram. Your work, sir. I demanded of Stanton to send me a copy of the telegram, and I know all you did.’ “Well, General,” said Judge Dickson, ‘was it not all right?’ ‘No, sir. No, sir; it was not all right.’ ‘Why, sir, when I was in command of the Army of the Potomac Lincoln would not let me kill a man.’ ‘Lee killed men every day (not a word of truth in this), and Lee's Army was under discipline; and now, sir, Lincoln is dead and I will kill this man. Yes, sir, I will. The order is given to shoot him to-morrow, and he will be shot, and don't you interfere, either of you.’ “Did Stanton order you to shoot him?” asked Judge Dickson. ‘No, sir; he left the matter in my hands, and I demand that he be shot—and shot he will be.’ “Well, General,” replied Judge Dickson, ‘even if the boy was a guerrilla, the war is over and the papers this morning tell us that the Government has given all rebels the same terms given General Lee. Will it not be shocking to shoot this poor boy?’ “It makes no difference,” answered Hooker. ‘I will kill him; yes, sir, and that to-morrow.’ The following day the same solemn procession moved out to the ravine, and the boy, bound hand and foot, knelt beside his coffin while a squad of soldiers fired ounce balls through his breast. The faithful priest took charge of his body and gave it a religious burial. And thus it was that Tom Martin, of Kentucky, was the last victim of the war. A poor, ignorant boy, but he died like a man. The Northern papers condemned the cowardly and brutal murder; but some excused it by saying that Hooker was oppressed with the thought that Mr. Lincoln's humanity had thwarted his career, and for that reason it was a relief to sacrifice the boy, and he determined that the opportunity should not escape him. We all remember the order Hooker issued Thursday, April 30, 1863, at Chancellorsville, when he was in command of the Army of the Potomac. He said: ‘The enemy must either ingloriously fly or come out from behind ’
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.