A week or two after the army's arrival at Kinston
, a court-martial was convened to try the deserters, and the verdict was they should be hung.
The jail was near the Neuse river
, and back of it lay a flat country.
On this plateau was erected a large scaffold of rude material, and around it was built a platform with triggers, with ropes attached.
The fatal day arrived, the military was marched to the
scaffold, and men detailed to pull the ropes and thus spring the triggers.
Twenty-five men were placed on the platform at one time, the noose adjusted around their necks, their heads covered with corn sacks in lieu of the black caps, which could not be obtained, the command given, the ropes were pulled, the triggers sprung, and twenty-five men launched into eternity.
This was followed later by five other executions, and then two, the latter being brothers, of the same build and stature, about six feet tall and well-built.
They were baptized in the Neuse river
, taken to the jail to change their clothing, and from thence to the scaffold, where they paid the penalty of cruel war's demand.
After all this was over, back to old Virginia
was the command, and the arrival was made in time.