“What’s up?” “Cain’t a man be allowed to rest?”
“Form two lines,” the sergeants bellowed.
Two lines, 75 paces apart, faced each other.
“You are here to witness the punishment of a deserter.”
The moment men heard that talk dried up.
Eight soldiers escorted the offender, bayonets fixed. Faces showed solemn sympathy. A provost marshal carried out the demonstration to send a message to any men considering desertion. The offender marched down the aisle, his head shaved, hat in hand, buttons cut off his coat and the letter D branded on his hip. Not a cheer was given. Nor any jeers.
An Imperfect Union, p. 50
http://goo.gl/xxZdDe https://goo.gl/k5nrsM http://goo.gl/vIw8GO https://goo.gl/CKDSxE
Pictured a Civil War reenactor representing a provost guard.