During the war, there were many stipulations of many turning their back against their respective side and or doing things against a certain code of moral ethics. A prime example of this is John Beall of Virginia. Beall was convicted of gorilla warfare and was caught spying on multiple occasions. He was found guilty and executed shortly after his trial. However, many feel that Beall was wrongly executed. I personally agree, I believe Beall was following orders and was doing right by his army and was wrongly executed due to the turning point of the war.
To start, Beall was convicted for seizing boats during the war and spying according to witnesses from the north and really no other evidence at the time. Yes, these acts may have been over the line and against a code of moral ethics especially pertaining to the derailment of the train. However, these are the tough realities of war and were simply acts and orders he had to carry through. At the end of the day, In that situation it’s your own life vs. the opponents and you have to value yours over theirs unfortunately. Beall was simply trying to free confederate prisoners as ordered and had to complete his set mission. Secondly, I feel like this was seen as worse due to the turning point of the war. Due to who he sided with, it was seen as immoral and wrong. This is the commonality with losing opponents. They are hunted down and executed for following orders they were told to execute. This further proves the argument that history is written by winning sides of the war, because if the tide was turned the other way around this could be very well seen as heroic and noteworthy to many. It is hard for many to understand how someone could do such things like that, but when put in his shoes, it is much clearer to understand that he was simply complying to a larger authority and didn’t want to get in trouble for not following the orders.