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,T_". ^;-*'V AUSTRALIA.

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OUTRAGE UPON. A BRITISH SUBJECT. Mr. R. R. Belshaw, who has just returned to this country from the Southern States, has written a letter to Earl Russell, claiming damages for outrages in- flicted upon him while there. In this letter he states that he went to New York in 1852, and in 1859 re- moved to Montgomery, Alabama, to settle the estate of a deceased brother. Pending the settlement, which was tedious, he went into business on his own account. At New York and in Montgomery he had always re- mained faithful to his allegiance, and in Montgomery the fact of his being a British subject was generally known. In February last, however, he was arrested as a eonscript in his own house by the de facto Go- vernment, removed to the guard-house, and after a detention of three days released. He was, however, again arrested, notwithstanding the production of his consular certificate of nationality and compliance with the requirements of the Secretary of State, taken from his residence, hurried off to Camp Watts, in Alabama, and from thence to Bragg's army, in Tulla- homa, where several other British subjects were sent at the same time, "under guard in chains, with heavy iron collars riveted on their necks." Mr. Belshaw's story after this we give in his own words :— On our arrival in Tullahoma we were all put into the guard-house, an abominably filthy den. After being there nearly a week a Confederate officer came in one day to know if we would volunteer. Under the cir- cumstances we declined to embrace the opportunity of fighting for his country. In this way he called several times to know if we thought any better of it, until at last, finding the inducements were not sufficiently strong, he came one day and took us out to the provost marshal's office. While there he tried to coerce us into taking the oath of allegiance to his Government, amid the jeers and taunts of a crowd of commissioned officers, whose hatred of England was only equalled by their affected ignorance of her power. Our party, consisting of Danish, German, and British subjects, all refused to renounce our allegiance. Wre were then put into the camp of the 1st Louisiana. On refusing to do duty the next day (in obedience to the Queen's proclamation), I underwent the punishment known as "bucking" in front of General Bragg's head- quarters, and also the others, after which we were turned into the guard-house. On our refusal again, some days afterwards, the "bucking" was repeated, with the addition of water being thrown over some of us. Still continuing to refuse, I was subsequently tied up by the thumbs half an hour to the rafters of the guard-house, along with another British subject named Kelly, a graduate of the Queen's College, Galway. I saw "him afterwards undergo the punishment, called by those who practice it, the spread eagle," a kind of crucifixion. On another occasion I saw him held head downwards in a tank of water three times until almost drowned. The punishment of slaves has been inflicted upon us with a full knowledge of our nation- ality, in broad daylight, and within a few yards of General Bragg's head-quarters, in the presence of at least fifty or a hundred spectators. For refinement of cruelty and democratic insolence generally, Colonel Strawbridge and his Creole commissioned officers of the 1st Louisiana stand unrivalled. The de .facto Government have now assumed the responsi- bility by a decision of their highest court at Mobile, declaring me liable to military service. This trial cost me 4,000 dollars, to which must be added 3,000 dollars for a substitute, which was only good for a short time as I was afterwards notified by the authorities for six months' service in North Alabama. Seeing there was no end to the imposition and outrage, I left, and at the expense of £3,000 dols. more I am so far home out of the Southern Confede- racy. Having been unable to close my estate I have left my sister in charge of it, and to her exertions on my behalf more than to the money actually expended I am indebted for my deliverance from captivity. Some de foxto compensation can surely be had for a series of very gross outrages committed by the de facto Government. With this brief statement of facts, as a British subject I now respectfully call upon your lordship for such indemnification as the Government may think proper to demand for three months' con- tinuous outrage and imminent risk of life, together with the loss of 10,0CH) dols., besides the damage done to my business by an enforced absence from it.- I have the honour to remain, my lord, your lordship's most obedient servant, R. R. BELSHAW. P. S. My Lord,—I inclose the official report of the trial (taken from the record by the clerk), with the seal of the Court attached, to which my case was re- ferred by the de facto Government. It being their highest court there was no appeal. The question, as your lordship will perceive, was not one in reference to the series of gross outrages which had just been committed, but only in regard to my liability to con- scription.

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