McNair’s Brigade CSA
"The Camp, the Bivouac and the
by Dr. Grummage, Brigade Surgeon
reprint of the book was done
by the Ark History Commission.
"Unwept, Unhonored and Unsung."
HARMON, THOMAS P. Pvt Co H - 4th Ark Inf enlisted at camp near Mt Vernon, MO 17 Aug 1861. Discharged 30 Sep 1861 by sentence of General Court Martial all wages forfeited. Drummed out of service by court martial Sep 17, 1861 Wages forfeited.
Dr. Grummage, Brigade Surgeon, P.17 of his book "The Camp, the Bivouac and the Battle-field" 1864 describes the incident as follows:
THOMAS HARMON, the wagon-master, deserted whilst we were encamped here and stole some mules from the train. He was pursued by Maj. May and brought back, tried and condemned to be drummed out of the camp, have his head shaved, and if afterwards caught within one mile of the encampment was to be shot. On the day appointed for the execution of the sentence (1st of October,) the whole Brigade was marched out into the prairie and formed in open columns at a right shoulder shift arms. In a few minutes the prisoner was brought out under guard, followed by two drummers, who instead of playing the rogues march, as is customary played Yankee Doodle. In this manner he was marched down between the two lines to the head of the column and into the woods out of sight. The scene was one of great solumnity, and doubtless had a good effect in convincing all who had any inclination to evil-doing that the lash of justice was pretty sure to follow upon the heels of crime in this army. The prisoner's head was shaved so close that his bald and naked scalp fairly glistened in the sunshine.
"Go mark him well,
For him no minstrel raptures swell,
But doubly dying he shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonored and unsung.
His subsequent history is soon told. When he reached home he found the story of his dishonor had preceeded him, and having been warned by his old neighbors to leave the country, and not being quick enough, they arrested him, and to secure a rope, find a swinging limb and suspend him between Heaven and earth, was the work of but a few minutes."The way of the transgressor (at least in Arkansas) is hard."
Return to the Warstories and Letters Page
Back to the McNair's Brigade CO H Page