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"The Hot Weather Scouts "

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1, Wilkes Eugene Candell, six months, Baldwin, Ga.; 2, Charles Parker Holland, four months, Kinston, N. C.; 3, Benjamin Wyatt Roper, six months, Canon, Ga.; 4, Jewel Daniel, six months, Statham, Ga.; 5, Alton Parker Laseter, six months, Gibson, Ga.; 6, Wycliffe Marshall, seven months, Thomson, Ga.; 7, Lula Gardener, six months, Ft. Towson, Okla.: 8, Evelyn Chambers, ten months, Haleberg, Ala.; 9, W. P. Boydstun, eight months, Clovis, N. Mex.

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Dear Sir: I wish I could have a talk with you on the execution of Marshal Ney. I trust I have not tired you in writing from time to time on this most interesting subject and hope you will pardon me for intruding on your valuable time. Just a few more lines and I quit.

Why was the execution to take place on the plain of Grenville at 10 o'clock a. m. and 10,000 people on the way to witness it, when it was suddenly changed to the Luxemburg gardens at 6:30 in the morning, with very few witnesses present?

Why was it some of the most prominent people of North and South Carolina on first acquaintance with P. S. Ney, did not believe him to be the marshal, but when they came to know him well were fully convinced that he was?

The best evidence we have that the execution was false is the statement of Sir William Fraser to Rev. James A. Weston, the author of "Historic Doubts as to Ney's Execution." Mr. Weston says:

"Sir William Fraser told me that he had grave doubts as to the execution of Marshal Ney; that the official account was evidently a fabrication; that it carried the evidence of falsehood upon its face; that Mr. Quentin Dick was a man of the very highest character, and his word could not for a moment be doubted. It is probable that Wellington saved Ney's life."


Now here we have two reports of the execution. Sir William Fraser says the official report is false. This official false report has gone down in history. Why? Taking into consideration the political state of affairs in France and Europe it had to be accepted as history. The Bo aparte faction was out; the Bourbon faction was in, and Ney, a member of the Bonaparte faction, was a traitor to his country, insofar as his country has never honored him in erecting a monument to commemorate his glorious deeds: but a monument stands upon the spot where he was supposed to have been executed in memory of him as a traitor, and of his execution; and the French nation ought to tear down this monument and erect one worthy of the great soldier, and call for his rema which lie near Third Creek church, Rowan County, North Carolina. Most truly yours,



"Peter S. Ney is the author of the deIvice on the seal of Davidson College:

"A man's right hand grasping a dagger, with the point downward, piercing a coiled serpent, not far from the head. The hilt of the weapon has rising from it a star or flame that casts rays through the surrounding space. This is encircled by two rings, between which is the legend in Latin, 'Alenda lux ubi orta est libertas' (Light must be sustained where liberty arose), alluding, we suppose, to the Mecklenburg Declaration of May 20, 1775. But there seems to be an incongruity between the radiation of light and the handle of a dagger. It seems to have been customary to set valuable jewels in the hilt of such weapons. The largest diamond known is called Kohinoor, or Mountain of Light, is rose cut, and belonged to Queen Victoria. The second or third in size is called the Pitt diamond. It decorated the hilt of the Sword of State of the first Napoleon. It is now owned (1891) by Sir William Fraser, of London. It has jewels set in the upper part. We infer, then, that Peter Stuart Ney, having been familiar with the sight of this most brilliant gem in the hilt of Napoleon's sword, had it before his mind when he drew the device for the seal of Davidson College."

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merely the lowly pedagogue he assumed, made haste to tell him that his identity was known. As mysteriously as he had appeared in their midst he departed, leaving no trace by which he might be followed.

Afterwards, however, it was learned

that he was teaching in Brownsville, Marlboro county, S. C. Here in 1821, while in the schoolroom at his work a newspaper was brought to him which bore tidings of Napoleon Bonaparte's death at St. Helena.. The news, to an ordinary soldier of the French revolution, would have meant a sigh, a tear of regret, without further outward manifestations of feeling. Peter Ney read in horrible fascination the short account of his emperor's end, then turning deathly pale, fell in a dead faint to the floor.

When he had revived his school was dismissed for the day. In his room some hours later he burned most of his valuable papers. The next morning, when he did not make his appearance among the family of the home in which he was boarding, those going in search found him with a gash in his throat. The blade of the knife with which he had sought to end his unhappy existence had fatefully broken, sparing for a longer period the life that some supernatural power had so long stood guardian of.

Shortly after this, while attending a military review in Columbia and occupying an honorary position assigned him in the parade by the Governor, he was a second time recognized by Frenchmen who had known him as the marshal. Again, when the rumor was brought to him of his discovery he fled. In Mocksville, Davie county, N. C., he sought oblivion among a people who had not previously sheltered a French fugitive.

Here, in 1822, he resumed his occupation as a teacher. But even in this obscure and shut-in place the fear of an assassin never left him. With the people who so graciously received him he, in time, grew intimately fond and to the most trusted of these friends he related the story of his adventurous life.

From French records, one learns that Marshal Ney was not of noble origin. His father was called Peter Ney; his mother, a Stuart, was of Scotch descent. The pedagogue declared: "I could not give up the name of Ney on coming to America, so 1 decided to take my father's name and add to it the maiden name of my mother."

Of his bogus execution in Paris, Peter Stuart Ney, in relating the circumstances leading up to it, stated that Louis XVII. was full of revenge, and in order to make his execution the more horrible decreed that his own soldiers must fire the fatal shots. Not until after he left the prison for the place of his execution was he told that a plot had been formed to spare his life. Over his heart a thin rubber bag con

taining a red fluid was concealed. He was told that he should himself give the command to fire, at the same time striking his breast with sufficient force to burst the bag.

Instead of being carried to the Plains of Grenelle, where he and every one else supposed the execution was to take place, the carriage containing besides himself and the curate of St. Sulpice, stopped in a narrow alley just back of the Luxembourg Gardens. He was immediately ordered to alight. As he passed the line of detailed soldiers drawn up before him, he whispered, "Aim high." His command in battle had always been "Aim low."

When he had taken his place about eight paces from the wall the officer commanding the party advanced toward him for the purpose of bandaging his eyes. But Ney stopped him. "Are you ignorant," he said, "that for twenty-five years I have been accustomed to face both balls and bullets." The officer, confused and embarrassed, stepped back. Ney, taking advantage of the halt in the proceedings, said: "I protest before God and my country against the sentence which has condemned me." With the next breath, striking his heart with his hand, he gave the command to fire, falling as he did so, and allowing every bullet to pass over him.

Besides the soldiers, only five or six persons witnessed the execution; these unwilling or chance spectators, among whom, most probably, were several children. When the smoke from the discharged guns of the executioners had lifted, the apparently lifeless form of Michel Ney was covered with a cloth. A few minutes later the body was borne to the chaise that so lately had drawn him and conveyed to the Hospital for Foundlings.


From that place, the next morning, leaden coffin encased in a pine one, containing possibly a substituted corpse, but most probably none at all, was carried to the Cemetery of Pere la Chaise and buried without any rites or ceremonies whatever. The marshal's wife, who loved him devotedly, did not so much as witness the burial.

Peter Stuart Ney asserted that from the hospital, on the night after his bogus execution, he fled, and having been provided with one of the swiftest of horses, reached Bordeaux by daybreak. From there, disguised as a servant, he took passage on a ship bound for America. On January 29, 1816, after a 35-days' voyage, he landed at Charleston, S. C.

On board the same vessel on which Ney embarked and with the same destination in view, was an old soldier, who had served under his command in the French wars. One day the old veteran, who, for some time, had been suspiciously attracted to the disguised marshal, approached him and after conversing with him for some minutes told him that he knew him.

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