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Doc. 61.-execution of rebel spies at Franklin, Tennessee.

Murfreesboro, June 10, 1863.
I informed you last evening, by telegraph, of the singular circumstances connected with the hanging of two spies at Franklin. I have this morning obtained a copy, from the Adjutant-General's office of this department, of the correspondence on the subject which passed between Colonel Baird, commanding at Franklin, and General Rosecrans.

The two men were in reality, first, Colonel Lawrence A. Williams, formerly Second United States cavalry; (according to the Army Register, he was First Lieutenant of the Tenth infantry, and was appointed by President Lincoln Major of the Sixth United States cavalry on September seventh, 1861. He must have deserted the United States service since September, 1862, as his name appears in the Register of that date. At one time he was on General Winfield Scott's staff, latterly on Bragg's staff;) and, secondly, a Lieutenant Dunlap, whose position in the rebel Army I do not know. They represented themselves, on arriving at Colonel Baird's headquarters, as Colonel Auton, United States army, and his assistant, Major Dunlap. They were dressed in our uniform, and had horses with the equipments complete of a colonel and major. They represented their duty to be the inspection of the outposts of this army, and said they had come from Murfreesboro via Triune, and were in haste to reach Nashville. Conversation became quite free, and their language grew somewhat suspicious, so much so, that Colonel Watkins, commanding the cavalry, began to doubt the truth of their statements, and communicated his doubts to Colonel Baird. After further conversation with them, Colonel Baird sent the following despatch to General Rosecrans:

No. 1.--telegram from Colonel Baird to General Rosecrans.

Franklin, June 8, 1863.
To Brigadier-General Garfield, Chief of Staff:
Is there any such Inspector-General as Lawrence Auton, Colonel United States army, and Assistant-Major Dunlap? If so, please describe their personal appearance, and answer immediately.

J. P. Baird, Colonel Commanding Post.

No. 2.--General Garfield to Colonel Baird.

Headquarters Department of the Cumberland, June 8, 10.15 P. M.
Colonel J. P. Baird, Franklin:
There are no such men as Inspector-General Lawrence Auton, Colonel United States army, and Assistant-Major Dunlap, in this army, nor in any army, so far as we know. Why do you ask?

J. A. Garfield, Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.

Upon the receipt of this despatch, Colonel Baird appears to have instituted a search of the persons of the two men. He appears to have found nothing suspicious upon them, though their conduct was singular enough to create suspicion. The following is the second despatch of Colonel Baird, in answer to General Garfield's inquiry as to his reasons for asking:

No. 3.--Colonel Baird explains the cause of his suspicions.

Franklin, June 8, 10.30 P. M.
To Brigadier-General Garfield, Chief of Staff:
Two men came into camp about dark, dressed in our uniforms, with horse equipments to correspond, saying that they were Colonel Auton, Inspector-General, and Major Dunlap, assistant, having an order from Adjutant-General Townsend, and your order to inspect outposts, but their conduct was so singular that we have arrested them. They insisted that it was important to go to Nashville to-night. The one representing himself as Colonel Auton is probably a regular officer of the old army, but Colonel Watkins, commanding cavalry here, in whom I have the utmost confidence, is of the opinion that they are spies, who have either forged or captured these orders. They can give no consistent account of their conduct. I want you to answer immediately my last despatch. It takes so long to get an answer from General Granger, at Triune, by signal, that I telegraphed General Robert Granger, at Nashville, for information. I also signalled General Gordon Granger. If these men are spies, it seems to me important that I should know it, because Forrest must be waiting their progress.

General, I am your obedient servant,

J. P. Baird, Colonel Commanding Post.

The possession of the order said to have been given by General Rosecrans at once established the fact in General Rosecrans's mind that the men were spies, and he instructed his Chief of Staff to order a court-martial of them. The following is the order:

No. 4.

headquarters Department of the Cumberland, Murfreesboro, June 8,12 P. M.
Colonel J. P. Baird, Franklin:
The two men are no doubt spies. Call a drum-head court-martial to-night, and if they are found to be spies, hang them before morning, without fail. No such men have been accredited from these headquarters.

J. A. Garfield, Brig.-Gen. and Chief of Staff.

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