1873-12-30 Virginius Story told by Captain Braine
Hie has for in a of but X. village. with and ami was No. tho will pro. they di-caid their rags. They then gme lheuiselve.su thorough waslilii'.', and two suits of new clothes were given to each. Their discarded rags were thrown overboard. now mr. I'lM-.o.s'i.iis tooi;. Tlie pi isoneis present a win mil emaciated appearance. Their skins mo all (bit 1; an I some neatly black. Most of them arc Cubans, and u few are untiles of Jamaica. They do not uppuir to possess much education. Thu two most intelligent me Knight and Gray. The Juniata was mercrowiled. having 1 l.T more p issengers on bo. ml than she had ncconimodatioiis lor. They say that brutal murders uru committed daily iu Santiago by the Catalan volunteer, suspected Cahan sympathizers being marched oil to a mock tii.d and put to death. One of the survivors, an Irishman, was taken front the cell to lie shot, but the list was scanned and his name was not upon it, and be was allowed to go hack on board. James Scott, a mere lad, was taken on the Juniata us tlio wardroom hoy, was on Hie gun-huat Atlas while the massacre was taking place lu Santiago do Cub i. lie saw the men taken from thu piison ami placed iu lino against a stone wall and u detachment of ttoops from Hie Tornado march up and fire. Alter thin, In ennscquenc'u of the smoke, nothing was discernahle to him. Tlie new say Hint they had not Hie teniot-est idea ot tho object or destination of 'lie Vlrginlus. They distinctly deny that the Virgiiiius had any ammunition, or that they saw anything thiown oveiboatd, Cap. tain Itraiue on the voyage from Siuti.igo to this city took a full statement of each prisoner as to the treatment he had tcceiv-ed from the Spanlai ds. Their statements cover moio thats one thousand sheets of foolscap. Most of the piisoners when they wet o taken on board were sulfeilng from disease, from which they lecovercd on the voyage to this city. Wbllu tho Juniata was In the harbor of Santiago Gen. Burilel and tho olllcers of thu Tornado proposed to call on Capt. Braine, but tho doubtful honor was Indignantly declined by tho olllcers of the Juniata. mi: MoiiY or Tin: vinaisiis. The survlvois of tho massacre are naturally full of the subject, and ublo to supply tho lacking dolalls of tho Vlrglnlus 6tory. When tho Tornado steamed close to the Vhglnlus on tho day of her surrender, the crow knew for the first time tint they wcie piisoners. Tlio olllcers, Including Generid Hyan, Verona, Jesus do Sol, Capliun Fry and General Cespedcs wcio Hist pent on board thu Tornado In a boat, armed with mail ncs bearing loaded muskets. Tho ciew and passengers of the Vlrglnlus were oidcr-cd on deck, whero they were drawn tip lu lino und Inspected by tho Spanish hoarding olllcers. Each person bad tho fuw personal effects that ho had hastily colleejed nnd tho clothes hu wore. After a hasty Inspection tlio prisoners wero divided Into detachments ami ordcicd Into tho boats, which carried them to the i Tornado. They weio driven up the land (illlceis commanded the condemned men to kneel dow n, with their faces lo the wall. Ityan and I 'espedes protested agalnt till", and asked to be allowed lo kneel with their lares toward Ihc cxcciitioncts. At length, howewr, they submitted ami assumed the tcqniicil position. Then there was u pause fur an instant, followed by a llasli und a icpoil, and the four wcie wtllhllig in Ihc agonies of death. A Spanish officer thrust his sword through 1'yan's ho.nt, nnd the four murdered men's heads were chopped off and carried through the streets, The four bodies were placed in acait and taken to the cemetery, wlieiothey weie thrown into a hole, hastily dug, nnd sonic shovelfuls of clay tliiown over the remains. a death maiicii. After ii.uk eomu black collee and u mixture of boiled lieu und meat was sent Into tins cell of the piisoners In a large iron iot, from which they ate as best they could. Hungry men are not nice, und even the ceitalnly that n violent death stared them Iu tlie f ico did not dull their appetites. After their meal they beenmo more cheerful, and their songs showed thelrguards that they did not fear litem. Tho fate of their comrades was told them with nil the hnnl-ble particulars. This was evidently done with a view of increasing their siilfeilugs. After tlio men had been detailed, with Captain Fry nt their head, they marched to tho cemetery. When they leached tho gates tlio prisoners weie aligned with their faces toward the wall, and the men-of-war's men who made up tlio tiling party wero drawn up behind theni. In a semicircle behind tho tiling patty were the. volunteers in strong force of cavaliy and infantry, and behind them u dense Huong of tho populace. Tho six carts whitii'were to carry off tho dead bodies were drawn up on tho other bide of tho cemetery. Tlio olllccr In command of tho firing p.uty, who stationed himself on the light of bis men, ordered the piisoners to kneel. Cnptatn Fry took off ids hat ns bo knelt, and a volley from the filing paityat onco followed. Tho victims fell on their faces, the shilckB of the wounded filled tho air, and the sccnu was most horrible, Whllo the wounded weio wiitliing in their agony tho filing par-ty advanced and Hied six moio volleys lulu their victims. Tbo last shots were fired with tlio muzzles of tho guns almost touching tlio bodies. Captain Pry was killed nt tho Hist volley. In front of the ccmulery wall were thlity-seven bodies. Captain Fry was shot through the bcsil and heart both. Tho cuts weru drawn up, mid tho commanding olllccr ordcicd the bodies lo' bo thrown in and taken away. Captain Fty's body was thrown into tlio bottom of tho Hist catt, and bW other wciopltchcd on top of him, Four of tho men's heads hung over tlie edge of tho carl, tlie blood dripping from the hair and their eyes wide open, rolling with every motion of tho Cut. Two calls were filled with six boil- I leu, and they were drawn Into n field just beyond tho town, nml all diiiiiH.d In a large i nolo tciucmbiiim e by us Tbccapliics do not present a very war like appenance, in my of them being very voting and diniiniilho in sic, ami without my vciy intelligent c-tlinaie of the under hiking which tliev cnlcicd upon. Samuel Gray, a c.irpcnler. of llaiiisburg. P.t., ! otic of Hie hum intelligent of Hie ptisimcis He li.uely escaped llio fate of Ids mole nil fiiietiuati" friends. Ile was sent lo the Impel twice, each time being told lie w.i to ! shot: I ill t was til'let w mils icuinitcd In the place of imprisonment, much In Ills ow n surptise and to the amazement nf all the prisoners, who had tw ico bidden him what they supposed to be a last farewell M Santiago h was iu the hospital for i considerable time before the depuituie ot the Jtinlala, when liu was taken on hnutd. Another instance of good fortune is a fire man named ivlug, who is nn i.tigiisiiinau bvbiith. Ho could not speak a word of Spanish, and was unable to giic tiny count of himself to lli Spanish authori ties. When tlio tliiity-seven who wcie fliot together, wcie taken out for execution, King was also taken, but when the names of the condemned were called his nainuwas not among them, und lie was returned to the boat overcome with delight at Ids nar row escape. Another was Hie thiilcentli man; that Is to say when the second detail for execution was made, thirteen men wero taken out, but the Spanlaids, thinking It was nn unlucky number, returned ouo to tlio piison. The lot fell on one of two brothers, American citizens. The saved man Is a young and Intelligent man, who speaks Spmisli fluently. At Santiago tho pi lionets ero supplied with provisions which, though sufficient ns regards quan Illy, weru poor lu quality, and hardly fitted to biistaln life. These provisions consisted almost w holly of ilco and water, District Attorney Bliss declines to mako public tlio naturo of the evidence sought to be obtained from the Vlrglnlus prisoners of whom, seven so far, have been exam ined. The principal points sought to bo cleared up U tbo exact status of the tr ginlus, wlio nro her owneis, whether she Is entitled to lly tho American Hag, and how far the neutrality laws have been vio lated. The examination will bo conthuied at length on bo.iid thu Juniata, During tlio first four days of the passage from Santiago de Cuba to this pott, Coniiu inder Braine was engaged In taking the deposl Hon of the prisoners. The statements were taken separately, tbo (crvlecs of an Intel pteter being brought Into requlsltlou lu-tho caso nf -thnsu who epoku Spanish alone, and benco of tho majoiity nf the misoiiers, Tho priioners will'rcmalu on bo.iid tho Juniata until tho Investigation Do com Dieted. Every cITort will bo made tote lease them ns soon us possible from their present confinement, A number of olllcers df tho Junlatn have already been allow oil to ero ashore Tho Virglntus lioni iiaiu.i iioiuia in low ' h of tbo Osslpcc was not seen by those on lioaid the Juniata dining her voyn ( - mid fur ury, gold, count but "i est Sales 103,1 11,000 tc.om c.j li, H. II. 11. tr. II. IT. U.li It. It, ir New .V Krle l. Clui 4,om tin al 10 0 .