Whipped Slave

 

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Civil War Harper's Weekly, July 4, 1863

This site features online versions of all the Harper's Weekly newspapers published during the Civil War. These newspapers allow you to watch the Civil War unfold week by week, just as the people saw it at the time. These papers are full of incredible wood cut illustrations of the key people and battles.

(Scroll Down to See Entire Page, or Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to the page of interest)

 

Rebel Spies

Rebel Spies

McClellan's Loyalty

George McClellan's Loyalty Questioned

Battle Winchester

Battle of Winchester

Before Vicksburg

Before Vicksburg

Battle of Antietam Poem

Battle of Antietam Poem

Battle of Milliken's Bend

Battle of Milliken's Bend

Whipped Slave

Whipped Slave

Slave Torture

Slave Torture

Works Before Vicksburg

Works Before Vicksburg

Milliken's Bend Battle

Milliken's Bend Battle

General Buford's Cavalry Charge

General Buford's Cavalry Charge

Secession

Secession Cartoon

 

 

 

JULY 4, 1863.]

HARPER'S WEEKLY.

429

RAID OF SECOND SOUTH CAROLINA VOLUNTEERS (COL. MONTGOMERY) AMONG THE RICE PLANTATIONS ON THE COMBAHEE, S. C.—[SEE PAGE 427.]

A TYPICAL NEGRO.

WE publish herewith three portraits, from photographs by McPherson and Oliver, of the negro GORDON, who escaped from his master in Mississippi, and came into our lines at Baton Rouge in March last. One of these portraits represents the man as he entered our lines, with clothes torn and covered with mud and dirt from his long race through the swamps and bayous, chased as he had been for days and nights by his master with several neighbors and a pack of blood-hounds; another shows him as he underwent the surgical examination previous to being mustered into the service —his back furrowed and scarred with the traces of a whipping administered on Christmas-day last; and the third represents him in United States uniform, bearing the musket and prepared for duty.

This negro displayed unusual intelligence and energy. In order to foil the scent of the blood-hounds who were chasing him he took from his plantation onions, which he carried in his pockets. After crossing each creek or swamp he rubbed his body freely with these onions, and thus, no doubt, frequently threw the dogs off the scent.

At one time in Louisiana he served our troops

GORDON AS HE ENTERED OUR LINES.

as guide, and on one expedition was unfortunately taken prisoner by the rebels, who, infuriated beyond measure, tied him up and beat him, leaving him for dead. He came to life, however, and once more made his escape to our lines. By way of illustrating the degree of brutality which slavery has developed among the whites in the section of country from which this negro came, we append the following

extract from a letter in the New York Times, recounting what was told by

the refugees from Mrs. GILLESPIE'S estate on the Black River:

The treatment of the slaves, they say, has been growing worse and worse for the last six or seven years. Flogging with a leather strap on the naked body is common; also, paddling the body with a hand-saw until the skin is a mass of blisters, and then

breaking the blisters with the teeth of the saw. They have "very often" seen slaves stretched out upon the ground with hands and feet held down by fellow-slaves, or lashed to stakes driven into the ground for "burning." Handfuls of dry corn-husks are then lighted, and the burning embers are whipped off with a stick so as to fall in showers of live sparks upon the naked back. This is continued until the victim is covered with blisters. If in his writhings of torture the slave gets his hands free to brush off the fire, the burning brand is applied to them.

Another method of punishment, which is inflicted for the higher order of crimes, such as running away, or other refractory conduct, is to dig a hole in the ground large enough for the slave to squat or lie down in. The victim is then stripped naked and placed in the hole, and a covering or grating of green sticks is laid over the opening. Upon this a quick fire is built, and the live embers sifted through upon the naked flesh of the slave, until his body is blistered and swollen almost to bursting. With just enough of life to enable him to crawl, the slave is then allowed to recover from his wounds if he can, or to end his sufferings by death.

"Charley Sloo" and "Overton," two hands, were both murdered by these cruel tortures. "Sloo" was whipped to death, dying under the infliction, or soon after punishment. "Overton" was laid naked upon his face and burned as above described, so that the cords of his legs and the (Next Page)

GORDON IN HIS UNIFORM AS A U. S. SOLDIER.

GORDON UNDER MEDICAL INSPECTION.

South Carolina Volunteers
Escaped Slave
Negro Soldier
Whipped Slave

 

 

 

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