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Confederate authorities select two Union officer prisoners for a retaliatory execution at Libby Prison

Henry Washington Sawyer, detail
07/06/1863
In retaliation for the executions in mid-May 1863 of two Confederate officers, the commander of the Libby Prison in Richmond, Captain Thomas Turner, was ordered to select for hanging  two Union prisoners of equal rank.  Captains Henry W. Sawyer of New Jersey and John Flinn of Indiana were chosen by lot and promised execution in fourteen days time.  Federal authorities countered, selecting two of their own prisoners, one a son of Robert E. Lee, to be hanged immediately after the deaths of Sawyer and Flinn. Neither threat was carried out.  (By John Osborne)
Source Citation: 
Eric J. Wittenberg, The Battle of Brandy Station: North America's Largest Cavalry Battle (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2010), 203-204.
Lonnie R. Speer, War of Vengeance: Acts of Retaliation Against Civil War Pows ( Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2002), 83-89.