Monday, June 21, 2010

Rebel Outrages on the dead

WASHINGTON, April 30. – The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War made a lengthy report regarding the treatment by the rebels at Manassas of the remains of Federal officers and soldiers killed there. They say the facts disclosed are of painful, repulsive and shocking character – that the rebels have crowned this rebellion by the perpetration of deeds unknown even to savage warfare. Investigations have established this beyond controversy. The witnesses called before us were men of undoubted veracity and character; some of them occupy high positions in the army, and some of them high positions in civil life. Differing in political sentiments, this evidence proves a remarkable concurrence of opinion and judgment of our own people and foreign nations, and must with one accord, however they have differed heretofore, consign to lasting odium of the authors of crimes which, in their details, exceed the worst excesses of the Sepoys in India. The outrages on the dead will revive the recollections of the cruelties to which savage tribes subject their prisoners. They were buried, in many cases with their faces downward – they were left to decay in the open air, their bones being carried off as trophies, sometimes, as the testimony proves, to be used as personal ornaments; and one witness deliberately avows that the head of one of our most gallant officers was cut off by a Secessionist to be used as a drinking cup on the occasion of his marriage.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, May 3, 1862, p. 3

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