--The New York Times
gives the following account of one of the barbarities of the Federal
army on the Peninsula
The public has already been made familiar with the fact that previous to leaving Yorktown
the rebels planted torpedoes and other explosive articles in the tents, paths, &c., which our officers would be most likely to frequent.
Several lives of Union men were lost in this way. It was stated, in an made by a rebel prisoner named Grover
, that these murderous weapons were prepared and distributed under the immediate personal supervision of Brig.-Gen. Rains
, of Georgia
, who took great interest in the manufacture and in designating the spots where they were to be planted.
When this plot for assassination had been discovered, it was naturally supposed that the rebel magazines had also been prepared for an explosion upon being opened by Union men; and it was therefore determined that they should be opened, and the torpedoes taken up wherever found, by the rebel prisoners in our hands.
When this determination was announced to the prisoners by General Van Allen
, the Military Governor
, they remonstrated against it, and their officers drew up a formal protest against it, as in violation of the usages of war. They intimated, though they did not assert, the right of a retreating army to resort to any measures which would retard pursuit.
But they claimed that, as they had personally taken no part in planting these torpedoes, or in preparing the magazines for explosion, and were in no way responsible for it, they ought not to be exposed to the special dangers supposed to be connected with them.
The reasoning failed to convince our officers, however, and they were compelled to face the perils which the barbarous practices of their army had prepared for our men. We believe that no casualty attended any of their options.