CIVIL WAR EXECUTIONS

CIVIL WAR EXECUTIONS

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WILLIAM THOMAS OVERBY

  • GEORGIA

Overby was one of the six Mosby's Men executed at Front Royal by orders of General George Custer on Friday, September 23rd, 1864. Overby and Love, were hung to a tree in sight of the town of Front Royal, and a paper pinned on the breast of one read: "Such is the fate of all of Mosby's gang."

Atlanta, GA.

The remains of the Mosby's Ranger often called the "Nathan Hale of the Confederacy" lie once again in the soil of his native Georgia. William Thomas Overby was given a hero's reburial January 5, 1997, in Oakhill Cemetery in Newnan, Georgia, southwest of Atlanta.

His body had lain the past 132 years in a rural Virginia Cemetery near where he was hanged on September 23, 1864, for refusing to reveal the whereabouts of the headquarters of his commander Confederate Cavalry Colonel John Singleton Mosby.

Overby was the son of a Coweta County, GA, planter, and was wounded at 2nd Bull Run while with the 7th Georgia Infantry. In 1864 he was a 27 year old member of Company D, of Mosby's Rangers. He was captured near Front Royal, VA, with 5 other rebels. All six were executed, and Overby was one of the last two to die. His captors offered to spare his life if he would reveal Mosby's whereabouts, but he was refused and was hanged from a walnut tree. His last words were reportedly: "Mosby will hang 10 of you for every one of us." Mosby did indeed retaliate: he hanged seven captured Union troops, attaching a note to the body of one of them with words to the effect that he would hang no more prisioners if Yankee commander George Custer desisted from hanging anymore captured Confederates. The hangings ceased. Overby was buried in Markham, Virginia, in the family cemetery of one of the other men executed that day, according to the Atlanta Constitution. The Sharpsburg Sharpshooters Chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Coweta County made numerous attempts in recent years to have Overby's body returned, but without success. They finally got permission when the owner of the Virginia graveyard died and the new owners, descendants and judges in both states were amenable. Overby's few remaining bones were retrieved on the weekend of December 20-21, 1996, by members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), and returned to Newnan, GA. There, they were placed in a pine period coffin and lay in state on January 4, 1997, in the Coweta County Courthouse. The coffin was draped in a Confederate flag and topped with a framed photo of Overby under a pair of Confederate swords. An honor guard of Confederate reenactors stood vigil, wearing black armbands over their left sleeves. The following day, a Sunday, Overby's casket was transported to Oakhill Cemetery via a horse-drawn artillery caisson, accompanied by more than 300 reeanctors while about 300 spectators looked on. (reported by Joe Kirby, for the Civil War News, Route 1, Box 36, Turnbridge, VT


Additional Info
Owner:
bgill -Contributions private
Created:
5/9/2007
Modified:
5/12/2007
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