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Major Sullivan Ballou Camp #3

Patriotic Instructor's Report

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Brother Commander
I am sending this first  instruction via email..please if I  missed anyone send it along or read it at our next meeting.
I am choosing a passage out of the history of the 1st Rhode Island Cavalry..titled SABRES AND SPURS  by Rev. Denison written in 1876.
I qoute...... from page 50(March 1862)
".......These graveswere on the north of the battle field, in a raqvine, and near the road leading from Sudley Church.  Here were buried Colonel John S. Slocum and Major Sullivan  Ballou.
While the work of exhumation was going on, the Governor and certain of his staff, having visited the cabin of Mr. Mzathew, and also a plantation mansion,  learned from the colored people that some of the dead bodies had been exhumed and  barbarously trreated by the  Confederates.
  Hurrying back to the glen, we found the coffin and body of Col. Slocum uninjured and easily recognizied. But on opening the grave of Major Ballou we found neither coffin nor body, and the graveitself bore witness of disturbance and violence.  Following the report andsteps of a negro, down the glen a short distance, among the large pines and oaks, we were horrified by discovering ashes,dead coals and brands, and in these the bones of a human body, save the head.  As was proved, a Georgia regiment, that had suffered in the battle from the fire of the Rhode Island troops, had exhumed the body of Major Ballou, supposing it to be that of Colonel Slocum, beheaded it, denuded it, and burned what remained.  Words may not describe the indignationrevealed in the face of the Governor(sprague), and of all who gazed upon that rifled grave and those bonesprotruding from the ashes and dead coals. Was this the Southern chivalry that we were to meet with ourselves?
......In further proof of the beheading, the under-clothes were found with the neck band buttoned, while the wrists were unbuttoned.
No part of the skull, not even a tooth, was discernible after searching the ashes."
 

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War