State Highway Marker

State Highway Marker

Friday, February 21, 2014

February 1864- The Fate of Private Boyle

 "He carries ..with, him," says Major Cronin "not only the guilt of an atrocious murder, but the consciousness of having thwarted one of the boldest and best planned expeditions of the whole war."-New York Times.

Once Condemned to be Hanged.
From the New York Sun.
 John Boyle was sentenced to be hanged in Williamsburg, Va., in 1863 for killing an officer, and he escaped from confinement. He was met in New York by a former comrade in arms about fifteen years ago, where he was working in a boiler shop, and afterward fled the city, fearing, it is supposed, that he would be rearrested and executed. He had relatives living in New York and a brother of his is an employe of a railroad in Jersey City. He has been living under an assumed name in the west, and has written to his relatives here at regular intervals. They received a letter from him last week. He was then working as a miner at Crested Butte, Col., in the mine where the disastrous explosion occurred on Jan. 24. His relatives believe he was one of the fifty victims of that disaster.
. . .
How the rebels had learned of Wistar's expedition has never been made known with certainty. A rebel prisoner however, taken after the disappointment at Bottom's bridge declared that a man giving bis name as John Boyle had been captured nearly dead from exhaustion and exposure, in their lines on the night of February 2. He told them he was a deserter from Wistar, and gave them, so the rebel prisoner said, the intelligence that enabled them to throw a strong force in the way of Gen. Wistar, and thus thwart what might have been one of the most brilliant and important movements of the army during the war.

-The Worthington Advance(Worthington, Minn.)February 14, 1884

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