Executions, Justice, and Reconciliation in North Carolina's Western Piedmont, 1865-67

Executions, Justice, and Reconciliation in North Carolina's Western Piedmont, 1865-67 david c. williard In the closing weeks of the Civil War, Americans on both sides of the conflict sought to come to terms with a death toll unprecedented in the nation's history and unfathomable to its antebellum sensibilities. The Confederacy's white population had suffered particularly staggering losses: approximately one-quarter of the South's population of white men eligible for military service perished. Amid such widespread mortality, exploring the circumstances that surrounded the deaths of five men from piedmont North Carolina--men nearly anonymous to contemporaries and historians alike--may seem inconsequential. Indeed, the first public mention of the deaths of Samuel Kelly, David M. Huff, James Flynt, Jacob Loss, and a fifth person named only as "Spears" showed little concern for the identities of the departed. On March 29, 1865, the Salem (North Carolina) People's Press noted only, "Some five men, we learn, have been shot in this [Forsyth] county (two of them from Yadkin,) by the military: We know nothing of the circumstances in connection with the shooting, except that some of them were executed for desertion."1 Yet when members of the 1st Battalion, North Carolina Sharpshooters executed their five victims, they engaged in a battle over loyalty that began http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Executions, Justice, and Reconciliation in North Carolina's Western Piedmont, 1865-67

The Journal of the Civil War Era, Volume 2 (1) – Feb 23, 2012

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
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Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
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2159-9807
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Abstract

david c. williard In the closing weeks of the Civil War, Americans on both sides of the conflict sought to come to terms with a death toll unprecedented in the nation's history and unfathomable to its antebellum sensibilities. The Confederacy's white population had suffered particularly staggering losses: approximately one-quarter of the South's population of white men eligible for military service perished. Amid such widespread mortality, exploring the circumstances that surrounded the deaths of five men from piedmont North Carolina--men nearly anonymous to contemporaries and historians alike--may seem inconsequential. Indeed, the first public mention of the deaths of Samuel Kelly, David M. Huff, James Flynt, Jacob Loss, and a fifth person named only as "Spears" showed little concern for the identities of the departed. On March 29, 1865, the Salem (North Carolina) People's Press noted only, "Some five men, we learn, have been shot in this [Forsyth] county (two of them from Yadkin,) by the military: We know nothing of the circumstances in connection with the shooting, except that some of them were executed for desertion."1 Yet when members of the 1st Battalion, North Carolina Sharpshooters executed their five victims, they engaged in a battle over loyalty that began

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Feb 23, 2012

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