Tracking a Union spy...the hanging of Major David McGibbon

farrargirl

Corporal
Member of the Month
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Jul 9, 2017
Location
Baldwin County, on the Alabama Gulf Coast
Sometimes, a word or phrase catches your attention, and well...you just follow the bread crumbs.
Such was the case a few weeks ago when I stumbled upon this list, while on Ancestry:
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Soldier #390 was interesting, and I extracted the relevant info and enlarged it in boxes here.
The rest appear to be Union soldiers who died abt. July/August, 1865. I was working on someone in Demopolis at the time. (Were these some Union soldiers who were part of Wilson’s Raids, near Selma/ Central Alabama area? ) The five listed soldiers (#386-390)
were recorded as being buried in a small “cemetery in the pines” about a mile NE of Demopolis ( specifics to follow ).

So, who was Major McGibbon and what were the particulars of his fate? He was non-existent in fold3, NPS, etc.etc.
Quite a character, it turns out:



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( I had thought that Columbus, MS. had already been under Union control at the time? )

This article, also originating from “The Mississippian”, was a very unusual one to me. I had never read such a detailed summary
of a military execution, factual, yet heartbreaking in some ways:

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I learned that these Union soldiers around Central Alabama were excavated about 1866 and moved to the Old Montgomery National Cemetery ( no longer in existence). From there, they were moved to the Marietta National Cemetery, Marietta, Georgia.
So....here he is.
Peace to your ashes, Major McGibbon....
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( Find A Grave).
 

farrargirl

Corporal
Member of the Month
Joined
Jul 9, 2017
Location
Baldwin County, on the Alabama Gulf Coast
Thank you for posting this. Being a spy was a dangerous job for both Union and Confederate spies.
Thanks for your comment. This man was supposedly given ( or promised ) $20,000 by Union officials in Memphis for information useful to them. Since he was caught once in Grenada, MS., I imagine he was way too close to Gen. Forrest’s realm to avoid capture .
I omitted a good bit from the lengthy articles about him for brevity, but a very interesting character!
 
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