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[310] and pleaded his loyalty to the Union and begged to have a chance to prove it all.

My sister Linnie ran in between Willie and the guns, telling them how faithful he had been to their cause, and how he had disgraced himself by being a Union man and refusing to go into the Confederate Army. They would not listen to her, however, and the officer cursed her, saying: ‘If she does not get out of the way, kill her, too.’

“Nothing but blood and ashes will satisfy us for killing Lieutenant Cunningham.” Before they fired, the captain ordered a part of the soldiers to go back to the grave and kill every d-n man to be found. My sister, dreadfully alarmed for the safety of our father, ran with all her might, begging the men not to kill him. Immediately after she left, Willie White was shot and wounded in the shoulder, which cut an artery, but he jumped over the fence and attempted to escape. His mother, wife and sister, on their knees, begged and pleaded for his life to be spared, but the Yankees followed and killed the poor boy as he stood by a tree holding on for support.

The house was a two-story frame building, and while it was burning the soldiers compelled the ladies to remain in the yard. They complained of the great heat, and begged to be allowed to get out of the yard, but they said, ‘No; stay there and cook.’ After they had slaughtered Willie White they returned and told his wife and mother of the horrible cruelties they had inflicted, and told her if anyone buried him or gave her a shelter they would be treated likewise. Before the squad which had been ordered to kill my father and Esquire Gillespie reached them, my sister Linnie called to them and explained their purpose, and begged them to get away; but both of the old men stood erect with their hands on their spades, and with a short prayer committed themselves into the hands of Almighty God. The soldiers were ordered to get ready, but when the command was given to fire, not a gun went off. The officer cursed the men and threatened to have them all shot, but one bold, manly fellow said, ‘I will be d—d before I shoot these helpless old men.’ Nor were they hurt. When the rest of the company joined the squad from the yard and found the dead lieutenant not buried, they began cursing again and said it was the purpose to leave his body for the

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Willie White (2)
Esquire Gillespie (1)
Nathaniel B. Cunningham (1)
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