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Newspaper Accounts Georgia



DAILY CONSTITUTIONALIST [AUGUSTA, GA], July 22, 1864, p. 4, c. 1
Horrible Atrocities Near Island No. 10.�Mrs. Mary Beckham, in a letter published in the Atlanta Appeal, furnishes a lengthy narrative of the treatment of her family by Lincoln �s murderers. After giving an account of the robberies and insults heaped upon herself and family by Adjutant Gen. Gwynne, and Capt. Thomas, of the negro troops, she makes the following statement:

"On Tuesday morning about 9 o�clock, August 4th, 1863, twelve armed negro soldiers came to the house, there being no one there except my husband, father-in-law, Benjamin Beckham, and four of my children, and some of our family negroes. They rushed on my husband and tied him, took off his watch and pin, and rifled his pockets. They then tied my father-in-law, and dragged them to the river, (it being about thirty yards.) They killed my husband on top of the bank by shooting him in the head. They then cut off his shoulder-blade and rolled his body into the river, his clothes looked as if there had been a great struggle.

They then took the old gentleman, stabbed him three times, once in the heart, and cut one of his ears off. After throwing his body into the river, they proceeded back to the house, where two of them had been guarding my dear little children. They spoke to my eldest daughter, Laura, aged fourteen years, telling her to get up and follow her old daddy, at the same time presenting a pistol to her temple. The children then were driven to the waters edge, where their father and grandfather had been murdered, and then they were put to death in the most cruel manner.

The youngest, Richard aged two and a half years, was thrown into the water alive. Laura jumped in and attempted to rescue him, and whilst in the water, waist deep, begging for mercy, she was knocked on the head by the butt end of a gun, entirely separating her forehead, and then stabbed in the side. Kate Ida, eleven years of age, was then disposed of. She was beaten with guns until her head and shoulders were perfectly soft; her body was bruised all over. Caroline, seven years of age was shot through the head, and so disfigured that she did not look like a human. After they had murdered them all and thrown their bodies into the river, they returned to the house, taking everything valuable and all the clothing they could carry."

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Chicago Star August 1863

From the Chicago Post, Aug. 9.

A gentleman connected with this office, who arrived information of one of the most horrible transactions that it has been our lot to record during this war. The boat landed at a place called Compromise, in Tennessee, near the dividing line between that State and Kentucky, where the particulars of the awful affair were learned from the neighbors. On Tuesday last, the 4th inst., eighteen negro soldiers, fully armed, having come from the camp on Island No. 10, went to the house of Mr. FRANK BECKHAM, on the river, immediately at Compromise Landing, and murdered him, aged 40 years; his old father, (Maj. BENJ. BECKHAM, aged 80,) and four children of Mr. F. BECKHAM: LOURA, aged 14; KATE, aged 10; CAROLINE, 7, and RICHARD, 2 years. They first caught Mr. F. BECKHAM and his aged father, tied them, marched them to the edge of the bank of the river, shot and stabbed them, and threw their bodies into the water. They then threw little DICK into the river, tied the two youngest girls together, and threw them in, then forced the oldest girl and beat her over the head with their muskets until she sank down. The bodies of old Maj. BECKHAM and the youngest child have been recovered. Many of the passengers went to the house and saw them. Fortunately two of the family of children were off at school, and the mother and one child, four years old, were at Owensboro, Kentucky. All the rest were murdered.

Twelve of the negroes were caught by our cavalry and are now confined at Island No. 10. Six are yet at large. The immediate motive for the deed was thought to be the fact that Mrs. BECKHAM took up the river with her a negro girl as nurse, whose mother had run off, and was at Island No. 10. The negroes had before endeavored to steel the girl away, but Mr. BECKHAM drove them off with arms.

CAIRO, Friday, Aug. 7.

It appears from a statement made by the Cairo News, of this morning, whose information came from Capt. PHILLIPS, of the United States Navy, that the killing of Mr. BECKHAM and family,; near Compromise Landing, should not be wholly placed upon the shoulders of the colored men. The facts seem to be that, while the soldiers also had a hand in the bloody deed, two white men, one named GRAYSON, were sitting by, and urged on and prompted the negroes to their cowardly acts. GRAYSON has been captured, with twelve negroes and one white man. Five or six colored men are yet to be taken, It is to be hoped that all may be properly punished.

See also ---- http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=DAC18631001.2.11




DAILY CONSTITUTIONALIST [AUGUSTA, GA], September 11, 1864, p. 1, c. 2

Gen. Sherman.�Some weeks ago a Southern lady traveled some distance on the same boat with Gen. Sherman, and availed herself of several occasions to speak to him about the war.

She describes his manner while speaking on this subject as perfectly furious. He declared frequently in her presence that the purpose of the war was to root out the present white race of the South�that the war would be pushed to the utmost verge of extermination�that he wanted to see the Southern people utterly destroyed, either by the sword or by starvation�and what was more, he would see it.