Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Chicago Press and Tribune, October 9, 1860

October 9, 2010

news of the day

The Execution of Walker.

Havana, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 1860.

I yesterday sent to Charleston, via Cedar Key, the “news” of the execution of William Walter at Truxillo on the 12th inst., and suppose you are, or will be before this reaches your hand, in possession of the intelligence by the aid of the telegraph. The “news” reached this city on the evening of the 24th inst., from Batubano, at which port the propeller Osceola had arrived that day.

Walker, it appears, was not permitted to have any communication with any of his followers previous to his execution. He marched from his cell to the place of execution with a steady step and unshaken mien. A chair had been placed for him with its back towards the Castle. Having taken his seat, he was blindfolded. Three soldiers stepped forward to within twenty feet of him and discharged their muskets, the balls entered his body, and he leaned a little forward; but, it being observed he was not dead, a fourth soldier mercifully advanced so close to the suffering man that the muzzle of the musket almost touched his forehead, and being there discharged scattered hie brains and skull to the winds. Thus ends the life of the “gray eyed man of destiny,” and though we may differ in our several estimates of the character of the man, and of the correctness of the cause he has of late years pursued, yet I believe none will be found who will assert that he was not a man of true courage.


See Wikipedia article on William Walker — “Before the end of the American Civil War, Walker’s memory enjoyed great popularity in the southern and western United States, where he was known as “General Walker” and as the “grey-eyed man of destiny.””

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