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In Knoxville, Tennessee, a condemned Unionist saboteur receives an eleventh hour reprieve from President Davis

Jefferson Finis Davis
12/26/1861
During the night of November 8-9, 1861, Unionist insurrectionists in Eastern Tennessee burned five railroad bridges on the East Tennessee Railroad between Knoxville and Charleston. Richmond deployed troops with orders to crush the rebellion and hang all traitors.  Harrison Self was convicted of burning the Lick Creek Bridge and sentenced to hang.  In the morning, his daughter telegraphed President Davis begging clemency and, at two p.m., two hours before the scheduled execution, received an answer commuting the sentence. (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
Oliver Perry Temple, East Tennessee and the Civil War (Cincinnati, OH: The Robert Clarke Company, 1899), 397.

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