Today in History:

79 Series I Volume XLVIII-II Serial 102 - Powder River Expedition Part II


Colonel Waugh is in command at Clarksville, with about 600 men - negroes, Kansas, and Arkansans. These outrages are committed by his command, and took place about the 18th ultimo. The letter is dated the 25th of January. This command say they will stay where they are until April. The letter was brought out by hand, as well as others, all concurring, I am told, in describing wrongs to our helpless women committed indifferently by black and white.

I hardly know why I write this to you; but yet I have some hope that steps may be taken to secure the helpless women from further wrong, and that some retribution may be devised that may reach the guilty. Wrongs such as are so delicately alluded to in the extract ask prevention and avengers.

I am, colonel, respectfully, &c.,


Provost-Marshall-General, District of Arkansas.

[Inclosure Numbers 2.]


Center Point, Ark., March 8, 1865.

Major-General FAGAN:

GENERAL: Having just returned from Johnson County I write you in order to give you some knowledge of the ill treatment of some of your old friends, outrages committed by the Federal soldiery. After being robbed of all their household, wearing apparel, and subsistence, they are then a subject of search for money. Not being satisfied on searching their persons, they are taken from their beds and placed upon beds of fire and tortured for the purpose of getting money. Aunt Tish (Mrs. Howel) was taken from her bed and burned so severely that there is but little hope of her recovery. All the flesh from below the knee of one leg has dropped off. Mrs. Susan Willis at the same time burned severely on the feet. Mrs. Wiley Harris burned by placing her head in the fire, and then whipped almost lifeless. Mrs. Major-Thompson burned on head, arms, and hands. I must yet tell you that Isbell, my wife, was taken from her bed and placed upon coals of fire, and after being burned severely was made to go in the damp of night some 400 yards to get money, and made to walk a part of the way with her feet all in a crisp, Isbell's mother remaining at the house suffering with like punishment. Notwithstanding these outrages, that of still deeper infamy is now the suffering pangs at heart of some of the helpless ladies of Johnson.

Oh, general, the story is true, sad, and sickening. May god avenge their wrongs. These outrages cannot be placed upon any other than the U. S. soldiery. The deserters from the Federal army occupied the county some time previous to the Federals holding post, and did not commit these outrages.

Shall we suffer all this? Have we no spirit to avenge their wrong? I hope the soldiery of Johnson County will not forget the Federal Second Arkansas Regiment, Second Kansas, Fourteenth Kansas, Colonel G. M. Waugh, and Colonel Stephenson, that they may, if ever chance offers, mete out to them like reward.

Hoping that some measures may be adopted that will avert any further outrages, I am, general, as ever, your friend and obedient servant,