similar to the one given last year. The exhibition will be open to-day and tomorrow. Liberalpremiums are to be given for the best varieties.
June 21, 1863
Execution Of Spies AtFranklin, Tenn.; INTERESTINGNARRATIVE OF THE CONCLUDING SCENES. THE TRIAL.PREPARATIONS FOR THE EXECUTION. THE EXECUTION ANDBURIAL. THE OBJECT OF THEIR VISIT.
Correspondence of the Cincinnati Commercial.FRANKLIN, Tuesday, June 9, 1863. Whenthe history of this most bloody war is written, few, if any, incidents will be of more thrillinginterest than the capture, trial and execution of Col. WILLIAMS and Lieut. PETERS. Wehad been besieged for four or five days by Gen. FORREST, our communications withNashville cut off, and most of the time fighting, and were almost, hourly looking for ageneral assault upon our feeble garrison. Col. BAIRD, of the Eighty-fifth Indiana, hadmade the best possible disposition of our forces, and all were resolved to sellFranklinasdearly as possible. But last night the dull monotony of dodging shells was relieved, andexcitement was carried to the highest pitch, as two fine-looking officers, dressed in whatappeared the Federal uniform, and mounted on splendid horses, rode up to Col. J.P.BAIRD's headquarters, and introduced themselves as Col. ACTON and Major DUNLAP,of the United States regular army. They stated that they had, a few days before, beenordered by the War Department to report to Gen. ROSECRANS, for duty as SpecialInspectors of the Army of the Cumberland. That they had entered upon their new field ofduty the day before, fully equipped and accompanied by two orderlies. They showedproper papers from Adj't-Gen. THOMAS and Gen. GARFIELD, Chief of ROSECRANS'Staff, and stated that, after leaving Murfreesboro, they took the direction of Eaglesville;and, when near that place, they went into a house for dinner; that while at dinner theywent surprised by a party of about twenty rebel scouts, who captured their Orderlies, andcame so near capturing them as to make it necessary to leave their coats and otherbaggage; that they were, unfortunately, out of funds, and wished the loan of $50 of Col.BAIRD, that they might go to Nashville to refit themselves before going further on duty.Col. BAIRD, although very suspicious that all was not right, felt compelled to recognizethem, with such perfect papers from so high a source. He gave them the $50 and a passto Nashville, upon receiving which the two started off at full speed in the direction ofNashville. But they had scarcely disappeared in the dark when Col. WATKINS, of theSixth Kentucky cavalry, and Col. BAIRD both felt such intense anxiety lest they mighthave been imposed upon, that it was instantly resolved to pursue and arrest the twogents, and hold them until they could learn from Gen. ROSECRANS the truth of theirstatements. As no time was to be lost, the gallant Col. WATKINS, accompanied by asingle Orderly, started in pursuit, and dashing forward toward our pickets, luckily came insight of them. He hailed them and ordered them to Col. BAIRD's headquarters.Undoubtedly the first impulse of these spies was to resist, which they could have donedesperately, as they were both well armed, out the cool courage of Col. WATKINSinduced them to return. (Col. WILLIAMS afterwards stated that he put his hand on hispistol to shoot Col. WATKINS, but the hope of not being detected caused him to desist.)After Col. WATKINS had brought the spies to BAIRD's quarters, Col. BAIRD and Col.WATKINS questioned them very closely, but could get no clue to anything that would raisea reasonable suspicion, until Gen. ROSECRANS telegraphed that he had no such officersin his Department. The prisoners were then informed that they were suspected, and wereunder arrest until they could properly explain themselves. They showed correct maps ofour lines, and seemed well acquainted with all the officers of the regular army. Cols.BAIRD and WATKINS then searched their persons, and the first thing, upon examiningthe sword of Col. AUTON, revealed the fatal marks (C.S.A.) -- the die was cast and theblood rushed to the cheeks of the almost petrified prisoners. They acknowledged theywere trapped, and at once confessed their real names, rank and position. The Colonelacknowledged himself to be Col. LAWRENCE WILLIAMS, of the Second Regular cavalry,at the breaking out of this war, and was recognized by Col. WATKINS as a fellow-soldier