Doc. 44.-rebel barbarities. General Thomas's orders.
headquarters Department of the Cumberland, Chattanooga, Tenn., January 6, 1864.General orders, No. 6. it having been reported to these headquarters that, between seven and eight o'clock on the evening of the twenty-third ultimo, within one and a half miles of the village of Mulberry, Lincoln county, Tennessee, a wagon which had become detached from a foraging train belonging to the United States, was attacked by guerrillas, and the officer in command of the foraging party, First Lieutenant Porter, company A, Twenty-seventh Indiana volunteers, the teamster, wag-on-master, and two other soldiers who had been sent to load the train, (the latter four unarmed,) captured. They were immediately mounted and hurried off, the guerrillas avoiding the roads until their party was halted about one o'clock in the morning, on the bank of Elk River, where the rebels stated they were going into camp for the night. The hands of the prisoners were then tied behind them, and they were robbed of every thing of value about their persons. They were next drawn up in line, about five paces in front of their captors, and one of the latter, who acted as leader, commanded, “Ready!” and the whole party immediately fired upon them. One of the prisoners was shot through the head and killed instantly, and three were wounded. Lieutenant Porter was not hit. He immediately ran, was followed and fired upon three times by one of the party; and finding that he was about to be overtaken, threw himself over a precipice into the river, and succeeding in getting his hands loose, swam to the opposite side, and although pursued to that side and several times fired upon, he, after twenty-four hours of extraordinary exertions and great exposure, reached a house, whence he was taken to Tullahoma, where he now lies in a critical situation. The others, after being shot, were immediately thrown into the river; thus the murder of three men, Newell E. Orcutt, Ninth independent battery Ohio volunteer artillery John W. Drought, company H, Twenty-second Wisconsin volunteers, and George W. Jacobs, company D, Twenty-second Wisconsin volunteers, was accomplished by shooting and drowning. The fourth, James W. Foley, Ninth independent battery Ohio volunteer artillery, is now lying in hospital, having escaped by getting his hands free while in the water. For these atrocious and cold-blooded murders, equalling in savage ferocity any ever committed by the most barbarous tribes on the continent, committed by rebel citizens of Tennessee, it is ordered that the property of all other rebel citizens living within a circuit of ten miles of the place where these men were captured, be assessed, each in his due proportion, according to his wealth, to make up the sum of thirty thousand dollars, to be divided among the families who were dependent upon the murdered men for support, as follows: Ten thousand dollars to be paid to the widow of John W. Drought, of North Cape, Racine County, Wisconsin, for the support of herself and two children. Ten thousand dollars to be paid the widow of George W. Jacobs, of Delevan, Walworth County, Wisconsin, for the support of herself and one child. Ten thousand dollars to be divided between the aged mother and sister of Newell E. Orcutt, of Burton, Geauga County, Ohio. Should the persons assessed fail within one week after notice shall have been served upon them, to pay in the amount of their tax in money, sufficient of their personal property shall be seized and sold at public auction to make up the amount. Major-General H. W. Slocum, United States  volunteers, commanding Twelfth army corps, is charged with the execution of this order. The men who committed these murders, if caught, will be summarily executed; and any person executing them will be held guiltless, and will receive the protection of this army; and all persons who are suspected of having aided, abetted, or harbored these guerrillas, will be immediately arrested and tried by military commission.