Petersburg, Virginia, vicinity. The hanging of William Johnson, Jordan's farm.

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Petersburg, Virginia, vicinity. The execution of William Johnson, Jordan's farm. LOC Summary: Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, the siege of Petersburg, June 1864-April 1865. Date Created/Published: 1864 June 20. Civil War pictures provided by LOC. Original medium: 1 negative (2 plates) : glass, stereograph, wet collodion.


William Johnson USCT

According to the Library of Congress it is a negro named William Johnson, private in the United States Colored Troops. He was hanged in June 1864 for attempted rape of a white woman, and also for desertion.

There are several photos in the series, which has been attributed to both Mathew Brady and his colleague Timothy O'Sullivan.

These scenes were reproduced as stereographs and carte-de-visites. Copies of the photos were circulated by the Federal troops in order to reassure the Southerners that negro troops who attempted such outrages would be punished.

Hanging of William Johnson

I have seen this photograph and variants of it on several sites.Nowhere informs the viewer what the offence of this unfortunate man was.
It is stated in most cases that he was executed.