From the Richmond Dispatch, 4/11/1863, p. 1, c. 4
Execution of Capt. Webster - In pursuance of sentence of Court Martial recently passed, Capt. A. C. Webster, of Pierpoint’s Army, was duly hanged yesterday at a quarter to 9 o’clock, at Camp Lee, for violating his parole of honor. The accused was captured several months since in Londoun county, and at the time was charged with sundry crimes, amongst which was the unprovoked murder of Capt. Simpson, a Confederate officer, horse stealing, and arson. These latter were offences of which the Military Court could take no cognizance. It was found, however, that shortly after being captured by Confederate troops and paroled, he had appeared at the head of an organized band of desperadoes, and committed most of the crimes alleged against him before he had been exchanged. This, by military law, is punished with death, and, being found guilty, he was duly sentenced, and the execution, as before related, took place yesterday at Camp Lee.
When going to the gallows Webster remarked to those in the carriage “This is a very solemn occasion.” The only other words he said during the journey to the fatal spot were, “I never thought it would come to this.” About 25 minutes to 1 o’clock the prisoner was carried on the gallows by two men, and seated on the trap in a chair. Some few minutes being spent in religious ministrations, the rope was affixed to his neck and his feet secured. – Meanwhile he was left sitting in the chair. Capt. Alexander, Asst P. M., read the death warrant to him, to which he listened with composure. It was agreed on between the prisoner and those entrusted with his execution that he should give the signal for the falling of the drop at his own convenience.
Webster was a stout man; about five feet ten inches in height, fair complexion, blue eyes, and light hair. He was possessed of iron nerves and great strength. He could and had often at Castle Thunder taken off his double irons with ease in the presence of his guards. Not long since, after ripping them off, he raised a window in the third story of the prison and leaned out, severely injuring himself in his descent to the ground. From the effects of this injury he was still suffering yesterday when called upon to undergo the last dread ordeal of the offended law. The prisoner was removed about 11 o’clock yesterday from Castle Thunder, in a chase carriage, containing beside himself his spiritual adviser, Rev. Mr. Brown, of the Presbyterian Church, and Detectives Caphart and New. The carriage, containing the condemned and another one was flanked on either side by a detachment of Major Wrenn’s Henrico Dragoons, commanded by Capt B. W. Green, Jr. An hour was consumed in the journey to Camp Lee, and nearly another hour in preparations for the execution.
The parties on the scaffold had hardly reached the ground before Webster threw down his hat, (the signal agreed on,) and the drop fell, precipitating the prisoner full four feet, and the chair on which he was sitting fell to the ground. The body swayed around three times as the rope unwound, and then hung motionless. In one minute and a half the soul of the condemned had fled. Those who were in the immediate vicinity of the gallows say that the prisoner died bravely.
Just one year ago yesterday to a day Timothy Webster, a spy, was hanged at Camp Lee, and on the identical spot on which Capt. A. C. Webster expiated his crime. The parties were in no wise related, though both were Kentuckians. It is now known that the name Webster assumed by the spy was not his true one, and up to yesterday it was currently reported that Capt. A. C. Webster was a son of Old John Brown, which, of course, was not true.