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Here again parting words were said, and blankets and trinkets were once more sent to relatives, overlooked in the hurry and excitement of the day before.
In the evening the sacrament of baptism was solemnized by Rev. Many of the Indians availed themselves of the opportunity to receive this Christian rite.
I was not present at this interview, but am informed that it was very affecting.
Each Indian sent some parting word or blessing to his friends or family, and bequeathed to each some little memento, as his pipe, a little tobacco, or a lock of hair; generally much feeling was exhibited in these leave-takings, although one or two seemed perfectly hardened and indifferent.
The cause of this latter error being made was because the sides of the structure was not parallel with the front line of the jail; but being built on an oblique across the roadway presented a point or angle to both the river and jail.
They were lying around the floor chained together in pairs, and as some suspicions had been aroused in the minds of the keepers, by reason of certain singular movements on Thursday night, each pair had been firmly chained to the floor.
As the hour appointed for the execution drew near, the clergymen in attendance addressed the prisoners in feeling and eloquent terms.
They bade them nerve themselves for the terrible ordeal through which in a few brief hours they were to pass, and looking to the Great Spirit for aid to make a firm resolve to be brave and die nobly, like men.
It is presumed by many that the condemned had been previously informed of the fate awaiting them, and this may, in a measure, account for their unconcern at the official announcement.
Wednesday, the 24th, was set apart for the last meeting between the condemned and those of their relatives who were confined in the adjoining and main prison.
The letter of the President, ordering their execution, was then read in English by Adjt. These communications were received with a grunt of approval, and most of the party to whom they were addressed manifested little or no interest in the matter; the half breeds gave some indications of emotion, but so slight as scarcely to be noticed.