--A correspondence of the Selma Mississippian,
writing from Demopolis, Ala.
, March 12, furnishes the following account of the execution of McGibbon a Federal spy:
spy the particulars of whose arrest you published a short since, was executed here yesterday.
Such an event, of course, attracted an immense crowd to the ground where the scaffold was erected, which was about one mile northeast of the town, in a beautiful pine grove.
Four companies of the 5th Missouri, Lt. Col. McDowell
, having been detailed as guard, were placed in a circular line around the platform from which the doomed man was to descend to death.
Inside the ring were the workmen who had constructed the scaffold, the executioner, and a few other officials.
The condemned was conveyed to the place of execution in a wagon, seated on his coffin, and accompanied by his spiritual advisers, and escorted by a company of cavalry.
He appeared to be about forty-five years of age five feet eight inches high, had long, flowing whiskers, a fine head and intelligent face.
He was very shabbily dressed.
Ascending the platform, be knelt with the clergy, when the Rev. Mr. Backwith
offered an eloquent prayer, after which it was supposed that McGibbon would make a speech, but the crowd were doomed to disappointment.
After glancing deliberately at the rope, the knot and the white cap, he threw off his hat, and indicated to the executioner that he was ready.
The rope was then adjusted about his neck, the cap drawn over his head, and in a few moments the soul of David McGibbon
took its flight to that bourne whence no spine or traitor ever return.
After hanging the usual length of time, Surgeon
pronounced the body lifeless, when it was in a blanket, placed in the coffin, and conveyed to the grave, which was dug, I observed, the reverse of the usual way--North and South.
From all that I can learn McGibbon desired to address the crowd, but was forbidden, for reasons best known to the authorities.
A few days since he partly wrote out a "statement of facts;" having determined to make a speech on the scaffold he destroyed the manuscripts.
He protested his innocence to the last moment; but the proof against him was overwhelming, and the Court
, I understand, was unanimous in its verdict.
Some of the statements in the Mississippian
in regard to his career and arrest he pronounced inaccurate.
He denied causing the arrest of his law partner, Judge Hart
; said that he was at that time a Major in the 9th Missouri infantry, and was recruiting in nois when he learned of Hart
On his return to St. Louis
he was called on for evidence against his partner, but was unable to give any other than the general street talk.
He tendered his resignation in September, 1862, which was accepted the January following, when, he said, that he and two others started South for the purpose of joining the Confederate navy.
He did not seem to think that Hart
caused his arrest, although he evidently entertained no good opinion of his old partner.