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Champ Ferguson, Statement from his Condemned Cell, Nashville, Tennessee, October 12 and 14, 1865

Champ Ferguson, September 1865, artist's impression
Champ Ferguson, a notorious Confederate guerrilla leader, had been captured earlier in the year and indicted on July 4, 1865 for more than fifty murders. His trial before a military commission began the following week and two months to the day later, closing arguments were begun. Ferguson was found guilty and sentenced to death on October 10, 1865 and hanged in Nashville ten days later at the Old State Prison. While awaiting execution, Ferguson made this statement commenting on his crimes and the fairness of his trial. Received in the Northern newspapers as a confession, Ferguson's words demonstrate rather the complexity and the savagery of the internecine violence that had descended on the divided border areas of Kentucky and Tennessee during the war. Ferguson was one of only two Southern soldiers executed for war crimes after the conflict. The other was Captain Henry Wirz, the commandant of the Andersonville Prison Camp in Georgia, hanged three weeks after Ferguson in Washington, D.C.. (By John Osborne)

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How to Cite This Page: "Champ Ferguson, Statement from his Condemned Cell, Nashville, Tennessee, October 12 and 14, 1865," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/44722.