1553: Pedro de Valdivia, founder of Santiago 1539: St. John Stone

1864: James Utz, St. Louis spy

December 26th, 2015 Headsman

Confederate agent James Morgan Utz had a blue Christmas indeed in 1864, awaiting his December 26 execution for espionage.

The Missourian had been captured traveling with a small band out of St. Louis disguised in Union uniforms and carrying supplies and ciphered messages for the invading Confederate army of General (and former governor) Sterling Price.

The federals handled Utz as a spy and a military court sentenced him to hang — a sentence that had already been carried out by the time President Lincoln’s grant of executed clemency arrived.

Tuesday morning last I was horrified at the announcement by a friend that Jas. Utz, Paul’s companion and leader in their attempt to go South, had been executed, being hung on Monday, the day after Christmas, in the jail yard.

It plunged me in a stupor or excitement from which my mind was not free for the entire day. The sentence barely issued and the punishment instantly carried out! The hurry, the suddenness was most revolting. No time given for taking leave of family, friends! No time for appealing for mercy or for a reprieve. No time allowed for composing himself for death!

-Diary of a family member of Paul Fusz, one of Utz’s secret party. (Fusz, only 17 when captured, was pardoned after serving six months at hard labor.)

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 19th Century,Capital Punishment,Confederates,Death Penalty,Espionage,Execution,Hanged,History,Last Minute Reprieve,Missouri,Pardons and Clemencies,Reprieved Too Late,Soldiers,Spies,USA,Wartime Executions

Tags: , , , , , , ,

One thought on “1864: James Utz, St. Louis spy”

  1. Larry Livingston says:

    My GGGrandfather WIlliam Jackson Livingston 2n Missouri Cavalry, Confederate, was executed 19 August 1864 in St. Louis. Charged with being a spy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


December 2015
« Nov   Jan »



Execution Playing Cards

Exclusively available on this site: our one-of-a-kind custom playing card deck.

Every card features a historical execution from England, France, Germany, or Russia!

Recent Comments

  • Sharon: My great grand mother was born in 1869 and was called Mary Ellen Peace, her grandfather was born in 1817 and...
  • Sharo.n: In 1859 Charles married a widower Hannah Ward. Who had a son. Together they had a daughter called Jane
  • Donna Finnegan: Kathleen Jukes. My family are also related to Richard. We are trying to work out where in our...
  • Anthony: Delaware never used a lethal injection machine. While they had bought one in 1987 when they first ordered a...
  • Curt Kastens: You can add Walterr S├╝skind. According to the German Wikipedia he died in Auschwitz on Feb. 28 1945....