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On Friday morning we were permitted to visit the condemned.
In the midst of the remark of Father RAVOUX, old PTAN-DOO-TAH broke out in a most lamentable and unearthly wail; one by one took up the lay, and ere long the walls resounded with the mournful "death-song." The song seemed to quiet and soothe them, and, resuming their pipes, they all sat in sullen silence awhile, until Rev. WILLIAMSON began his address, upon which came another outburst of passionate feeling, vented in a style it has not been my lot to hear before, and to which it is impossible to do justice on paper.
Soon after the addresses were concluded, the irons were removed from the limbs of the prisoners, and their arms tied behind them -- previous to which they expressed a wish (which we all gratified) to shake hands with the clergy and reporters present.
On Christmas Day another scene was enacted, similar to the one just related.
The cooks and others employed to provide for the prisoners during their confinement, came to say their last "good-by" to them.
As the hour appointed for the execution drew near, the clergymen in attendance addressed the prisoners in feeling and eloquent terms.
They bade them nerve themselves for the terrible ordeal through which in a few brief hours they were to pass, and looking to the Great Spirit for aid to make a firm resolve to be brave and die nobly, like men.
These belonged to the original 304, found guilty, upon trial by the Military Court, and were of the number from which the President had selected thirty-nine to be executed.
These latter had been selected out, and kept in separate and more secure quarters from the time when the order came for their execution.
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It is presumed by many that the condemned had been previously informed of the fate awaiting them, and this may, in a measure, account for their unconcern at the official announcement.