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[90] 10. He had secretly made full drawings of the fortifications and forwarded them, or by escaping carried them to the Federal leaders. He was a well-educated, athletic, handsome young man, and was said to have been a nephew or relative of John Brown. On the morning appointed for his execution I visited him early, and, after conversing and praying with him, proposed to introduce one of the United States chaplains, of whom several were then in Libby prison, to be with him in his last hours. I obtained permission and authority from General Winder and brought to his cell one of those chaplains. I remained in the hall to bid him farewell, and when I took his hand he said to me: ‘You have been very kind to me, and I thank you for it. I have only one more request to make of any man on earth, and that is that you will go with me, pray for me at the scaffold, and stay with me to the last.’ I was surprised and very reluctant to witness a scene so horrible, but of course could not refuse the wish of a dying man. The Federal chaplain was returned to his quarters, and I rode with him in a carriage to the Fair Grounds, the place of execution. He talked with me quite calmly, charged me with some messages to his family, begged me to accept a ring which he took from his finger; said he did not feel as though he was to be executed for any mean or disgraceful crime; that he was trying to serve his country at the suggestion of his officers, and knew well the danger to which he had exposed himself, and was prepared to meet it. He was as brave a man as I ever met, and with perfect self-possession mounted the scaffold, and, glancing at the rope and the distance to the ground, quietly said to the marshal, who was fastening the cord to the cross-beam: ‘Please make the fall longer!’ I trembled more than he did, and so did many brave hearts among his guards when the drop fell.

These are a few of the memories photographed upon my brain in connection with my experiences in Libby Prison which will obtrude themselves, unwelcome as nightmare visions, in some of my brooding hours.

And now fresh from Thanksgiving festivities, can we not all join hearts in the poet's benignant invocation:

Blow, bugles of battle, the marches of peace;
     East, West, North and South let the long quarrel cease;
Sing the song of great joy that the angels began;
     Sing of glory to God and of good will to man!
Hark! joining in chorus,
     The heavens bend o'er us!
The dark night is ending and dawn has begun.


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